History and memory in the Tasmanian Public Library: The curious case of The Hermit in Van Diemen's Land
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-17, 00:41 authored by Gaunt, HM
Although public libraries have been generally characterised in academic literature as repositories of public memory along with museums and archives, little specific work has been undertaken in Australia into how the public library performs this role, and how the public library influences – or responds to – the development of historical consciousness and the vicissitudes of social memory within its community. This article considers these questions through a case study of the Tasmanian Public Library in Hobart, and a particular culturally significant text, The Hermit in Van Diemen’s Land: From the Colonial Times (1829), by Henry Savery. The circumstances surrounding the acquisition and subsequent disposal of a copy of The Hermit by the Tasmanian Public Library are examined, in the context of the contested and changing value placed on the text by the institution and members of the community through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Publication titleHistory Australia: journal of the Australian Historical Association
Department/SchoolSchool of Humanities
PublisherMonash University ePress
Place of publicationMelbourne
Rights statementThis material was published by Monash University ePress in History Australia, the journal of the Australian Historical Association (vol. 6, no. 1, April 2009 issue). Monash University is the definitive repository of this material. DOI: 10.2104/ha090010