Gould – Treasures of the Hunter is a new exhibition from Newcastle Libraries' local studies collection that explores this fascinating chapter in our local history, displaying examples of the collection's rare, beautiful and much-loved volumes of Gould's Birds of Australia with additional images and maps drawn from the library's historic archives.
Pressed between the pages of Newcastle Libraries' collection of Gould's Birds of Australia is a colourful record of Australia's avian life, illustrated with vibrant beauty and described in lyrical prose.
These treasures of the City of Newcastle's rare book collection reflect the life's work of married couple John and Elizabeth Gould. John (1804-1881) was one of the 19th century's foremost ornithologists, publishing over 40 volumes on the world's birds during his life. Elizabeth (1804-1841) was a talented artist who illustrated many of the plates in Birds of Australia, based on sketches she produced while traveling Australia between 1839 and 1840.
The collection also reflects Gould's Australian visit to the Hunter Region, journeying from Newcastle up the Hunter River, exploring islands and capturing bird specimens for their research. While centuries of change have altered Newcastle's landscape and environments, the subjects of the Gould's scientific and artistic passions endure today in our city's backyards, bushland and in the collection of Newcastle Libraries.
The exhibition opens on Monday, 1 May in the Local History Lounge on Level 2 of Newcastle City Library and will run until Saturday 21 October. Entry to the exhibition is free. The exhibition is opens to the public during Local History Lounge opening hours.