University Of Tasmania
A1Gaunt_Hist_Aust09.pdf (214.35 kB)
Download file

History and memory in the Tasmanian Public Library: The curious case of The Hermit in Van Diemen's Land

Download (214.35 kB)
journal contribution
posted 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 title

History Australia: journal of the Australian Historical Association








School of Humanities


Monash University ePress

Place of publication


Rights statement

This 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

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology

Usage metrics