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Ian Morrison

Ian Morrison is Senior Librarian (Collections) in the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office.

Ian Morrison reviews ‘A City Lost and Found: Whelan the wrecker’s Melbourne’ by Robyn Annear

December 2005–January 2006, no. 277 01 December 2005
If Melbourne’s claim to be the ‘world’s most liveable city’ can be taken seriously, it is largely because of its capacity for reinvention, the adaptability of its buildings and infrastructure to an expanding population, and changes in transport, communications, patterns of work, and the general lifestyle of its inhabitants. Robyn Annear’s sparkling new book follows the development of ce ... (read more)

Ian Morrison reviews 'Carlton: A history' edited by Peter Yule

May 2004, no. 261 01 May 2004
When is a suburb not a suburb? When it is an inner-urban locale with a distinctive café culture, its own postcode and football team, but no town all. And here’s another: how did an Old English word meaning ‘churl’s farm’ come to be assigned to a swanky inner suburb of a major city in the southern hemisphere? These and numerous other questions are answered in Carlton: A History. This encyc ... (read more)

Ian Morrison reviews 'Encyclopedia of Exploration 1850–1940: Continental exploration' by Raymond John Howgego and 'Australia in Maps: Great maps in Australia’s history from the National Library’s collection' by Maura O’Connor et al.

June 2008, no. 302 01 June 2008
The concluding volume to Raymond Howgego’s epic Encyclopedia of Exploration completes a remarkable undertaking by a small publisher. Hordern House, best known as one of Australia’s leading antiquarian booksellers, has a record of producing high-quality publications, and Howgego’s Encyclopedia – now totalling more than 3,500 pages – is by any standards a great reference work. Volume 1 (pu ... (read more)

Ian Morrison reviews ‘Encyclopedia of Exploration, 1850–1940: The oceans, islands and polar regions’ by Raymond John Howgego

November 2006, no. 286 01 November 2006
When does an explorer become an adventurer, an adventurer a traveller, a traveller a tourist? This third volume of Raymond Howgego’s monumental Encyclopedia of Exploration moves into a period when the lines become increasingly blurred. Volume One (2003) covered all of human history up to 1800. In that period, any traveller who left a written account of his or her journey could be counted as an ... (read more)

Ian Morrison reviews ‘La Trobe Journal, No. 83’ by John Arnold

September 2009, no. 314 01 September 2009
The La Trobe Library Journal began life in 1968 as a modest, even dowdy sixteen-pager produced by the Friends of the (still very new) La Trobe Library. Its purpose was to publicise the Library and its holdings. For the first decade of its existence, the journal was edited by that quiet achiever of Australian letters, Geoffrey Serle. Over the following twenty years it was edited, and largely writte ... (read more)

Ian Morrison reviews 'Creative Lives: Personal papers of Australian writers and artists' by Penelope Hanley

May 2010, no. 321 01 May 2010
Creative Lives presents short biographical essays on twenty-two Australian writers (two of whom are also notable artists); but it is just as much a book about the value and purpose of the National Library of Australia’s Manuscripts Collection. Ironically, the book offers little documentation of the process by which it came to be written. Hanley does tell us, however, that she ‘was asked to wri ... (read more)

Ian Morrison reviews 'Burning Books' by Matthew Fishburn

December 2008–January 2009, no. 307 01 December 2008
There are many good reasons for destroying books. Not every act of destruction is an attempt to suppress ideas. Publishers pulp excess stocks of unsold titles; booksellers and libraries do it; even you and I do it. You don’t want to keep every school textbook you ever owned, and the nice people down at the Op Shop won’t thank you for dumping your discards on them. Our state and national librar ... (read more)

Ian Morrison reviews 'The World of the Book' by Des Cowley and Clare Williamson

December 2007–January 2008, no. 297 01 December 2007
The World of the Book is an offshoot of the State Library of Victoria’s permanent ‘Mirror of the World’ exhibition, which uses major works from the SLV’s collections to present a global history of books and ideas. The exhibition itself is a testament to the depth and diversity of the SLV’s collections, and the book is thus part exhibition catalogue, part ‘Treasures’ book. ... (read more)

Ian Morrison reviews 'Paper Nation: The story of the Picturesque Atlas of Australasia 1886–1888' by Tony Hughes-d’Aeth

December 2001–January 2002, no. 237 01 December 2001
I first encountered the Picturesque Atlas of Australasia long before I heard its name. Readers who  were at primary school in the late 1960s or early 1970s will know what I’m talking about — those illustrated booklets (a treasure trove for school projects) on Australian history, put out by the Bank of New South Wales, with pompous, triumphalist titles such as ‘Endeavour and Achievement ... (read more)