An abiding passion for books (part 3)

As one who’s been so close to the many magnificent collections in the State Library, does Paul have a favourite item, that’s stayed a favourite through his career? The 18th-century specialist doesn’t hesitate.

‘It’s the Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks,’ he says. ‘It’s the first account of our nation by a European. Banks wrote it on the voyage in 1768–71, and returned to Britain with it.’

Joseph Banks Esq, 1774. William Dickinson after Sir Joshua Reynolds (National Portrait Gallery, http://www.portrait.gov.au/site/collection.php)
Joseph Banks Esq, 1774 (National Portrait Gallery, Australia)

‘When Flinders set out on his voyage, sponsored by Banks, Banks gave him the journal to use. Continue reading

An abiding passion for books (part 4)

Mitchell Library (State Library of NSW)
Mitchell Library (State Library of NSW)

Our interview closes with a discussion about Paul’s current role. What are the emeritus curator’s responsibilities?

‘I offer advice and assistance, where required,’ he says, ‘or I’ll be involved in specific projects, if needed. I’ll be continuing my research, and publicising the library through talks and lectures, which I’ve done on the Queen Mary 2, and will be doing more of these. And if the library needs my help, I’ll be involved and help with acquisitions.’ Continue reading