News by locals: 1880s to 1960s an Exhibition Celebrating Local Newsmen

28 August 2017

Mosman Library Service is participating in the History Council of NSW annual History Week program of events.

The theme for this year is ‘Pop!’ a look at the role of popular culture.

“As 2017 is the centenary of the Mosman Daily we decided to continue the focus on newspapers,” Local Studies Librarian Donna Braye said.

This exhibition takes a look at some of the newspapers and the Mosman names synonymous with the popular culture of news in the 19th and 20th centuries.

In the 19th century Australia was seeking its own identity and the popular press was quick to identify this need and attempt to satisfy the demand. The first colonial magazine or newssheet was published in 1821 and over the next century around 600 were to be published with many only surviving for the first year.

‘News by Locals’ concentrates on three independent newspapers Picturesque Atlas of Australasia, the Bulletin and OZ magazine.

Each of these publications cleverly catered to the demands of an eager public seeking news and stories about Australia.

The Picturesque Atlas of Australasia published illustrated stories about Australian cities, rural regions, commerce, flora, fauna and geology.

The Bulletin reflected the ‘larrikinism’ of the colonial character; it popularised writers such as Henry Lawson and Miles Franklin while humorously championing or ridiculing local ideas and concerns.

OZ easily slotted into the 1960s a decade of cultural change; reflecting the new awareness of social responsibility it employed confronting visual satire to question the status quo.

Many local artists and writers such as Julian Rossi Ashton, William Macleod, Henry Fullwood, ‘Hop’ Livingston Hopkins, Richard Walsh and Richard Neville worked on or ran these papers.

Other Australian artists such as Ellis Rowan, Louisa Atkinson, David Souter, Norman Lindsay, Martin Sharp and Michael Leunig established their careers and became known to a wider audience.

On view Barry O’Keefe Library 2 to 17 September 2017.