Library in Focus: Australian Literature at Campion
Keziah Van Aardt
The Library at Campion College contains an extensive literature collection, including a significant number of Australian literary works. As Australian literature is one of the third-year units taught in the Bachelor of Arts, the library specifically supports this unit by collecting texts and commentaries relevant to the works studied as part of this unit.
The collection extends beyond this, however, and includes many other works of interest.
From Banjo Patterson, Henry Lawson and Dorothea Mackellar to Robert Grey, Les Murray, and Gwen Harwood, the collection of Australian poetry reflects the depth and diversity of Australian poets and the themes they have captured in their writing.
Dramatic works, novels, short stories, and other works of fiction are also important to the literature collection and demonstrate the creative wealth of Australian writers such as Miles Franklin, Ruth Park, Patrick White and Tim Winton. The library especially values the works of Campion’s own literature lecturers – The Wind Outside, by Dr Stephen McInerney, and Sign, by Dr Colin Dray.
Recent acquisitions to the Australian literature collection include a first edition of D’arcy Niland’s novel, Dead Men Running, (which I found in a second-hand book shop) and a volume titled Banjo Patterson’s Best Loved Poems, Chosen by his Grand-daughters.
Since the establishment of the library, various donors have generously supported the development of the Australian literature collection. Les Murray, for instance, donated some of his own publications as well as others from his collection and others have given the library works that have developed the scope of the collection.
Reading Australian literature is just as important as collecting it and I have greatly enjoyed delving further into various Australian literary works over the last year. It is oddly comforting to read about places I am familiar with and in the process, discover a little more of the insight and imagination of Australian writers.