Explorations – No 48 Jun 2010

IVAN BARKO, Foreword

KATIA MENGLET & COLIN NETTELBECK, Conflict or Symbiosis? The Alliance Française de Melbourne and French Cultural Policy since 1980

This article recounts the developments over the last two or three decades in the life and activities of the Melbourne Alliance Française, and the connection between these developments and French cultural policies at large.

Keywords: professionalization, governance structures, French cultural policy, François Mitterand, Jack Lang, Ministère des Affaires Étrangères, French Film Festival, cultural partnership and exchange

MARGOT RILEY, Fashioned from Fleece: Australian Wool and French Haute Couture

The author, a fashion historian, focusses in this article on Sydney and on the connection between the Australian wool industry and the introduction of French haute couture to Australia.

Keywords: wool buyers, French textile manufacturers, haute couture industry, French fashion salons in Sydney, Dior collection shown at David Jones

MICHAEL SHIRREFS, Adventures with an Atlas: Rediscovering the French Government’s Gift of Books to Melbourne in 1880

This account by Michael Shirrefs, a broadcaster, printmaker and composer, describes his re-discovery in the State Library of Victoria of a substantial collection of maps and books donated in 1880 by the French Government to the people of Melbourne. The gift of this half-forgotten collection was made to the Melbourne Public Library, the predecessor of today’s State Library, on the occasion of the 1880-1881 Melbourne International Exhibition.

Keywords: State Library of Victoria, Atlas des anciens plans de Paris, Melbourne International Exhibition, 1880-1881, Archives nationales, Bibliothèque historique de la Ville de Paris (BHVP), Jules Belcour (Consul General in 1880-1881)

Jane Turner Goldsmith, Poinciana, reviewed by Peter Brown
Paul Wenz, En époussetant la mappemonde, notes by Elaine Lewis
ELAINE LEWIS, French-Australian Bibliographical Notes

Explorations – No 33 Dec 2002

(issued September 2003)


WALLACE KIRSOP, The State Library of Victoria and its French Collections
This text gives an account the history of the State Library of Victoria’s collections, with special reflection on the French and foreign language collections. It is the first in a series on the resources available here and details the evolution of the Library and its ethos, with its initial inspiration under Redmond Barry being found in the British Museum and European University Libraries.
Keywords: State Library of Victoria, French collection, Redmond Barry

WALLACE KIRSOP, Visiting Mayfield
An account of a tour of Mayfield, the rural property in Mordialloc belonging to Francis de Castelnau, one of the more eminent French consuls in nineteenth-century Victoria. It prefigures a more substantial piece on Castelnau.
Keywords: Francis de Castelnau, Mayfield Open Day, French consul, nineteenth century

WALLACE KIRSOP, Death of a Bookseller
A brief account of one of the slightly less obscure booksellers William Ellis Bird, and his death after falling in a tram safety zone on Collins Street, witnessed by a car carrying not one but three consuls.
Keywords: William Ellis Bird, Antonia Grossardi, René Turck, Arthur Garrels

Klaus Toft, The Navigators: Flinders v. Baudin. The Race between Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin to discover the fabled passage through the middle of Australia, reviewed by Elliott Forsyth
Paul Brunton (ed.), Matthew Flinders: Personal Letters from an Extraordinary Life, reviewed by Edward Duyker
Max Cramer, Treasures, Tragedies and Triumphs of the Batavia Coast: a True Story of Discovery and Adventure in the 20th Century, reviewed by Edward Duyker
Hendrik Kolenberg assisted by Patricia James, Lloyd Rees in Europe: Selected Drawings from his Sketchbooks in the Gallery’s Collection, reviewed by Edward Duyker
Georges Rigondet, Francois Piron, 1775-1810, et I’expédition du Commandant Nicolas Baudin: Les Fraçais à la découverte de l’Australie, reviewed by Edward Duyker
Amie Livingstone Stirling, Amie: Memories of an Australian Childhood, reviewed by Wallace Kirsop

Explorations No 8 – Dec 1989


WALLACE KIRSOP, Paris, City of Revolutions

This study in the special issue of Explorations commemorating the bi-centenary of the French Revolution was originally the introduction to the catalogue of an exhibition, held at Monash University, featuring pre-20th century books on Paris. The books, a little over fifty in number, all from the holdings of the Monash University Library, were written by travellers, historians, authors of fiction, social commentators and participants in the events.

Keywords: guide books, Parisian social history, revolutionary posters, antiquaries, revolutions of 1830, 1848 and 1871.

WALLACE KIRSOP, Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Pages from the Revolution

This is the catalogue of an exhibition held at the State Library of Victoria for the bi-centenary of the French Revolution, displaying the Library’s valuable collection of mainly eighteenth century holdings, including the Turgot Plan of Paris of 1739-1740, the Berry collection of items on the French Revolution and 153 volumes of the Moniteur newspaper. The author discusses the Library’s past collecting policies and the more recent decline in the purchase of European items on the revolutionary period, illustrating Australia’s “reduced cultural ambitions”.

Keywords: Bi-centenary of the French Revolution, State Library of Victoria, Richard Berry, Moniteur, newspaper


Jacqueline Bonnemains, Elliott Forsyth and Bernard Smith (eds), Baudin in Australian Waters: The Artwork of the French Voyage of Discovery to the Southern Lands, 1800-1804, reviewed by Edward Duyker