Page 4364 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 27 November 2013

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provides in-kind support such as facilities, cataloguing, printing, consumables and expertise.

Dr Alderman has been a major contributor as a volunteer and director of the Lu Rees archives over many years and she very much appreciates the over 130 volunteers who have contributed their skills and interest. But she is in need of more volunteers and financial support.

As Dr Alderman informed me, the Lu Rees Archives of Australian Children’s Literature’s vision is to collect, document and preserve Australian children’s literature and in so doing to be the nation’s most comprehensive children’s literature archive in the country. The archive aims to provide educational programs, research and study fellowships, seminars, book renderings, workshops, exhibitions and other activities to engage communities of all ages.

In addition to our discussions, I received a detailed history of the Lu Rees archives from Dr Alderman and I would like to include some of that history tonight. In 1974 the commonwealth government granted $500 to each branch of the Children’s Book Council of Australia, CBCA. Lu Rees, who was then president of the ACT branch, proposed developing a collection of biographical files about Australian children’s authors and illustrators, along with a collection of their books. All the branches agreed.

In 1979 to celebrate the International Year of the Child, Lu Rees proposed that the collection should also include translations. By then the collection had grown to some 1,000 books and 60 files. A more public location was needed to provide wider access. Dr Belle Alderman, a member of the ACT branch and academic of the Canberra College of Advanced Education, suggested the college as a home for the collection.

Victor Crittenden, the foundation librarian at the college, now the University of Canberra, accepted the collection in 1980 and on this retirement in 1986 the ACT branch of the Children’s Book Council took over managing the collection.

In 1990 Dr Belle Alderman, Australia’s first professor of children’s literature, agreed to direct the collection. Upon her retirement in 2005 she took over managing the archives’ development as its part-time director. Since then she has pursued an outreach program of events, enhanced the artwork and manuscript collections, developed collaborative ventures and created a strong volunteer base. She ensured the archives pursued its strategic plan and annual action plans. In 2011 the archives was independently assessed as unique and significant. Replacement value in 2012 was $6 million.

The archives offers outreach services and specialises in serving academic, vocational and general needs and interests both within the university community and externally. Its clients come from all parts of Australia and overseas. They include tertiary staff and students, embassy and consular staff, researchers in a wide range of disciplines as well as writers, illustrators and publishers.

The archives staff have an in-depth knowledge of and experience in researching Australian children’s literature. Their services include designing educational programs

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