One of the best moments in working on beautiful illustrated books is when you see the final product.
When you’re an editor and/or proofreader, you only see the project at certain stages. You can visualise the final book in your imagination, but even when you’ve worked on the proofs it’s a fantastic surprise actually seeing the published book itself.
I’m always in awe of the work of the writer(s), designer, photographer and others, and grateful to have been a part of that team. And I give thanks to the publishing gods that people continue to collaborate and make big, sumptuous books!
Tactile books have been around for a long time. They’re fantastic objects for introducing the magical world of books to very young children who are blind or visually impaired. You can read about the Tactile Book Advancement Group here, and about how to make fabric tactile books here. You can also find out more here about Vision Australia’s Feelix Library. It’s a great Braille book library for children who are blind or have low vision.
It’s Anzac Day today, and here’s a postcard written in February 1915 in Cairo, 99 years ago.
I’ve had this card with me for years, and it’s lovely to share it with you now. I hope that George (the writer) and Elsie (the recipient) are smiling kindly, somewhere under a sky full of blue, at being remembered this way.
And here’s George’s message to Elsie, on the back.
George’s words to Elsie echo what we all write on postcards when we’re far from home and, at that very moment, can’t think what on earth to write about!
They also burn with his need to hear from his loved ones, his longing to know what they’re up to and that they’re thinking of him. It was a common theme with troops stationed so far away from home. Continue reading →
(Members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are respectfully advised that a person in a photograph in this post has passed away.)
Researching online can be a bit like taking off on a magic carpet ride.
There’s that sense of wonder at clicking on a website and easily navigating your way to a masterpiece. You can zoom in on the details of brushstrokes, handwriting, gesture. You get to see works that you may never see otherwise.
More prosaically, it certainly helps me to look at artworks closely when I’m editing a text describing them!
Do you ever get used to visiting a digitised treasure chest? I still feel like a genie’s spread the wishes of the world before me: a wealth of treasures … famed works at my fingertips … the power of creativity, right there on screen …
Thousands of children (and more than a few adults) have looked at the Mitchell Library with awe: what is that place, alive with the vistas, whispers and magic of books? It’s the library that all libraries lead to, in New South Wales.
So it seems entirely appropriate that the person who grew up to become an emeritus curator at the State Library of New South Wales found his passion for books as a nine-year-old in his local suburban library. Continue reading →
Paul is well known for his talks. He has a natural gift for telling history so vividly that the characters seem to burst free from their letters and journals, suddenly alive in the room, brushing page, ink and the ages from their clothes.
‘I’m flattered and honoured when people comment on it,’ he says, ‘but I’m not conscious of doing it.
‘My parents influenced me in my love of history. They seemed to know a lot when not a lot of Australian history was really known.