Letters from World War One come to Yarra Plenty Regional Library

To commemorate the centenary of World War One, Yarra Plenty Regional Library in partnership with Nillumbik Shire Council is presenting a touring exhibition from State Library Victoria exploring the personal stories of ordinary Australians told through their own photographs, letters, diaries and writings.

Writing the war: Personal stories from WWI tells the story of Australia’s involvement in WWI seen through the eyes of seven ordinary Australians from very different backgrounds – a teacher, a nurse, a bank clerk, a farmer, a journalist, an artist and an activist. Their personal experiences are conveyed through personal and published writings, photos, drawings and multimedia which take us from Gallipoli to Egypt, Gaza and the Western Front, and capture a diverse range of perspectives.

Some of these writings helped shape public opinion about the war effort, such as Sir Keith Murdoch’s Gallipoli letter or the writing of pacifist Vida Goldstein. Some were never intended to be read in public, like the diaries of George Auchterlonie which remained in his family’s possession for more than 70 years.

The exhibition due to open at Eltham Library Community Gallery on Thursday 4 August and will also feature the Lemnos Gallipoli Photographic Exhibition, memorabilia and personal materials from Eltham Montmorency RSL, the Australian Army Signals Museums and local history groups.

“These diaries and letters of both prominent and ordinary Australians give us an insight into WWI that is immediate and intimate because it is told in their own words,” says Liz Pidgeon Local and Family History Librarian.

Eltham Library Community Gallery is one of twelve regional libraries and galleries across Victoria who will host the exhibition until June 2017.

Writing the war: Personal stories from WWI is a free exhibition at Eltham Library Community Gallery from 4 August 2016 to 29 August 2016.

On Saturday 6 August Yarra Plenty Regional Library is hosting a special event to formally open the exhibition as well as launch their Anzac Centenary book project Fine Spirit & Pluck, which is a poignant collection of local stories from Banyule, Nillumbik and Whittlesea. The anthology helps to connect us to our past and offer a sense of place in the community in which we live, and which exemplify the fine spirit and pluck exhibited by every Australian.

The exhibition is also supported by a number of events in association with Family History month.

Explore more WW1 resources at State Library Victoria Writing the War

The Writing the war exhibition tour is supported by the Victoria Government through Creative Victoria.

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