State Library of Victoria > La Trobe Journal

No 61 Autumn 1998

[Front matter]

front cover
inside front cover

Charles Joseph La Trobe

The first Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria, Charles Joseph La Trobe (1801–1875), after whom streets, a library, a university and a whole valley were named, was descended from a long line of cultured and educated forebears. Educated in England and Switzerland, he travelled widely between 1829 and 1836. In 1839 he arrived in Melbourne to take up the post of Superintendent of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales.
In the 15 years of his government the population of Melbourne jumped from 2,500 to 463,000, gold was discovered, and Victoria achieved separation from New South Wales. In 1853 La Trobe had the foresight to order that £13,000 be set aside for a public library on the site where the State Library now stands. Under Redmond Barry's expert guidance the Melbourne Public Library was opened in 1856.
In 1951 it was proposed that celebration of the centenary of responsible government in Victoria and severance from New South Wales, and of La Trobe's contribution to the political, cultural and social life of Victoria, should be marked by a major addition to the State Library to house all its material relating to Australia and Australian interests as a separate Australiana collection.
Although the foundation stone of the new building was laid in July 1951, it was 14 years before the La Trobe Library opened to the public in March 1965. Since that date the La Trobe Library has built up a formidable reputation for its collections and services.
Over the years the Library has developed a collection of correspondence and other papers and is now the repository for the collection of original private papers relating to the life and work of Charles Joseph La Trobe.
In the course of the State Library's redevelopment program, the La Trobe Library building closed to the public in 1992 and the La Trobe services were located in other parts of the Library. However, the redevelopment plans include the relocation of the La Trobe collections and services in the Domed Reading Room which will be restored to its former glory and renamed. Charles Joseph La Trobe will continue to be commemorated at the State Library by the La Trobe Reading Room and by The La Trobe Journal.
[Notes by Dianne Reilly, La Trobe Librarian, who is currently writing a biography of La Trobe.]
Cover: Watercolour with pen and ink, gouache and pencil, by W.F.E. Liardet (1799–1878), painted about 1875, of a corroboree on Emerald Hill in 1840, one of a series painted about 1875 for a never-completed history of the early years of Port Phillip. In 1972 the watercolours, which are held in the Picture Collection of the State Library of Victoria, were published by Melbourne University Press on behalf of the Library Council of Victoria in a volume edited by Weston Bate, with introduction and captions by Susan Adams. The scene depicted occurred when about 300 members of the Yarra and Goulburn tribes staged a corroboree in which they ritually enacted their enmity according to tribal law. Liardet was living in New Zealand at the time he painted the picture, and the Maori influence is discernible in his painting. [Ltf Box/Liardet f13, Picture Collection, State Library of Victorial
La Trobe Library Journal
Alan Geoffrey Serle
10 March 1922–27 April 1998
Founding Editor

No. 61 Autumn 1998


Message from the State Librarian 2
From the Editorial Chair 3
A.G.L. Shaw Aborigines and Settlers in the Port Phillip District 1835–1850 5
Rhonda Dredge An awful silence reigns’: James Dredge at the Goulburn River 17
John Barnes Annotation: A Letter from Port Phillip 27
Peter Dowling Aborigines of Australia under Civilisation: As seen in Colonial Illustrated Newspapers 33
Peter Dowling Index to Illustrations of Aborigines in Illustrated Newspapers of Colonial Australia 45
Wallace Kirsop Library Profile: Geoffrey Serle 53
The La Trobe Journal is edited by John Barnes, assisted by Sandra Burt, and is published twice a year by the State Library of Victoria Foundation.
ISSN 0041–3151