The Library’s Convicts and Colonists History Conference was opened by the Mayor on Saturday to a packed theatrette. The conference theme was based around the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Emu Plains convict farm in September 1819.
Conference attendees travelled from across NSW to attend and were well informed and entertained by the end of the day. The conference commenced with the Mayor launching Library staff member Lorraine Stacker’s revised book on the Emu Plains convict farm – Chained to the Soil on the Plains of Emu. After the launch the U3A Henry Lawson Theatre Group entertained everyone with a musical rendition of the 1829 Exile of Erin poem.
Conference speakers were Lorraine Stacker, UNSW Professor Grace Karskens, Martyn Killion from State Archives and historical land researcher Steve Ford.
Many local historical and genealogical groups were also on hand to speak to those who attended. A big thank you to all staff in Research Services for running yet another great conference for the local community. A special thank you to the Mayor for generously giving his time to attend our event, and to Research Services for organising the event.
Penrith Library’s new Research Room and study rooms
On 9 May 2019 the Library officially launched its newly refurbished areas. The Library’s Research Room, reading and reference areas and computer zone areas were refurbished. Penrith Council’s Mayor Ross Fowler welcomed everyone providing them with some local library history and anecdotes. Sarah Dean, the Library Services Manager thanked all of those involved with the project. The Library’s two new study rooms have been named after its first two chief librarians, Margaret Trask AM BA Mlib FLAA (1948-56, 1958-63) and Joan Pearson (1956-58). Many members of Joan’s family travelled from Newcastle for the occasion. We thank them very much for doing so.
Penrith City Library’s Research Room has moved and its staff are temporarily located in the new room until the staff areas are completed. Everything is on track for 11 March reopening of the refurbished study and computer areas, and Research Room.
For any enquiries about what is happening, please contact us on 02 47327886 or via email
In 2016 the remains of a 200 year old cottage, farm buildings and over 1,000 objects were discovered during an archaeological excavation as part of the construction of the new Oakdale South Industrial Estate, just 25 km east of Penrith.
Penrith City Library is hosting a display of a small selection of the 1,000 objects found during the excavation that had been left behind by the many people who had lived on the property. As well as farm and building items, such as nails, bricks and horseshoes, the excavation uncovered personal and household items, such as a brooch, beads, pins, a thimble, a toothbrush handle, marbles, coins, clay smoking pipes, ceramic and glass fragments, and slate writing board fragments and ink wells. The archaeological remains and artefacts from the Lochwood Estate have been assessed as being of ‘State significance’ in demonstrating the daily life and economy of the earliest colonial settlers in rural areas of NSW.
The display has been developed by Artefact Heritage, and kindly sponsored by Goodman.
On 21 November, the Library hosted a commemorative event to recognise the work and sacrifice of our local men and women during the First World War. Our last Our Fallen booklet was given out to attendees. These booklets have contained the biographies of each local fallen soldier and can be found on this website at https://penrithhistory.com/memories-of-war/our-fallen/. The Noble Work Recognised Project for 2019 was also launched – this publication project will include all of our previous Our Fallen booklets, plus biographies of local nurses who served as well as the stories of the men who returned.
The night also included a talk by Dr Penny Stannard, curator at State Archives. She spoke on State Archives’ photographic exhibition, Windows into Wartime, which is currently in the Library. Researcher Steve Ford also spoke on researching military ancestors. Steve also presented the Library with photographs of headstones of local soldiers in France.
Penrith City Library is hosting this NSW State Archives exhibition from 24 October to 30 November 2018.
The exhibition presents a selection of historical images taken by government photographers during the time of Australia’s involvement in the War to the cusp of its transition into post war society. This exhibition provides insights into the home front during the First World War, 1914-1918.
Please note: exhibition is unavailable on Wednesday mornings and Thursday 15 November 2018