Sunday, January 2, 2011


The bridge on Smith's Road across the Gudgenby River in the Australian Capital Territory unfortunately washed away in December 2010 however I have found this clipping from 1933 reporting the bridge's official opening placing the bridge at 77 years of age. Interestingly the article mentions the same willow trees, recently cut down and not removed, that may have contributed to the bridge's eventual destruction in the flood.

The Canberra Times - 20 February 1933

National Library of Australia

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  1. Hello, Dave
    I'm an American who's just come across your blog today while pursuing a hobby. In light of the recent flooding, I hope this doesn't sound like too frivolous a question, but I've been researching the origins of Christmas music and found that a very rare and significant book from 1661 is reportedly stored at the National Library at Canberra. I have been unable to read it through Project Gutenberg and was hoping that the NLA might someday allow it to be transcribed through that service. (I have found at least two universities with electronic copies who have restricted access to students and faculty.)
    I originally tried to get news service reports with details on the flood. I wanted to know if the library suffered any damages or losses. It occurred to me that being a local historian you would probably be more intimately familiar with the status of the library than the wire services are. So, am I worrying over nothing? Thanks for your time.

  2. G'day,

    No, there were no reports of damage to the NLA during our recent floods than I am aware of. The National Library has established a wonderful service called TROVE which presents the library's collection in a searchable database and would be a good place to start searching for anything in the Australian collection. I particularly find their ever expanding collection of online material superb.

    Good luck with your studies... Dave

  3. Thank you,
    I signed up for TROVE but discovered that, while three locations have microform editions available to the general public, the online edition is restricted to specific universities. I would have thought that the reverse would be true-- that known entities could access physical copies but the rest of us would have to settle for a virtual transcription. And I would have been fine with that. I would even understand if they simply hadn't gotten around to creating a virtual copy. So, I'll have to assume that they're concerned about server capacity or some other technological limitation. After all, these are just Christmas carols, not nuclear secrets. I don't think they're worried about the original words to "In Dulci Jubilo" 'falling into the wrong hands'.

    I can at least look forward to checking back in every month or so both at TROVE and other major databases. And I'll be looking at your "Ten Days of Canberra Christmas" post under "Related Posts". That'll tide me over. Thanks again.

  4. If there is any consolation the online collection grows every day. One can hope your material eventually becomes available. Good luck!


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