30 November 2010

Some of Australia’s most prominent authors have contributed to a new book that reveals the literary and historical treasures of The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Fryer Library.

Australian writers Tom Keneally, Frank Moorhouse and Janette Turner Hospital are among 70 people who have contributed to Found in Fryer, which details 100 of the rare and valuable holdings of the library and the stories behind these items.

The Fryer Library plays a significant role in preserving Australian literary writings and Found in Fryer, which was released today (30 November), is a tribute to the people who helped established, augmented and continue to add to the library by donating rare books, manuscripts, letters, photographs, architectural drawings, theatrical programs and play scripts.

Executive Manager of UQ’s Social Sciences and Humanities Library Roslyn Follett said the Fryer Library was one of UQ’s great treasures.

“The University of Queensland’s Centenary created the perfect opportunity to reveal, in book form, some of UQ’s diverse holdings of rare and historic books, art and manuscripts,” Ms Follett said.

“Not only do our libraries hold special treasures, they have inspired dedicated researchers over many years to uncover their secrets in a way that captivates us all.”

A team of librarians and academics assembled 100 items that best represented the Fryer Library’s most prized collections, the main selection criteria being that they had to be unique, rare, or have an interesting story attached.

The Fryer Library holds original manuscripts and personal papers from notable Australian writers including David Malouf, Ernestine Hill, Martin Boyd, Xavier Herbert, Peter Carey, Thea Astley and Bruce Dawe. The Hanger Collection of Australian plays includes scripts from well-known Australian playwrights.

“It was a tough job selecting just one hundred,” Ms Follett said.

“Some of the Found in Fryer authors, whose papers are held in Fryer, have explained how they write, while others have told the ‘stories behind the stories’ of UQ’s and Queensland’s history, from palm trees to politics, and music to murder. Still others have focused on the creative output of some of the artists and authors with collections in Fryer.”

Found in Fryer is available for purchase at the UQ Library and Co-op Bookshop.

Found in Fryer will be launched by UQ Adjunct Professor and former Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie, at 6pm today (Tuesday, 30 November 2010) at The University of Queensland, St Lucia.

Media: Tanya Ziebell from The University of Queensland Library (07 3365 6315, t.ziebell@library.uq.edu.au) or Kathy Grube from UQ Communications (0418 524 297, k.grube@uq.edu.au).