The National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature

The National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature
August 4, 2016 Genevieve Hopkins

I was delighted to attend a workshop at the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature last night.

The NCACL is an independent not-for-profit body that collects, preserves and shares the works of Australia’s children’s book writers and illustrators. Along with finished books in all editions, the NCACL also holds manuscripts, papers, artworks and correspondence that show the creative process behind many of Australia’s most beloved children’s stories.

The collection has grown over 40 years and now holds some 30,000 books including translations. It also features research files, illustrators’ artworks, authors’ papers and manuscripts; publishers’ archives; magazines; audio tapes; photographs, posters, reviews, publicity material and ephemera.

The collection is truly wonderful and full of amazing pieces, some of them on display in the NCACL’s ‘Seeing Stories’ exhibition, an exhibition of the John Barrow collection of 48 original art works by 10 Australian illustrators – Terry Denton, Bob Graham, Peter Gouldthorpe, Leigh Hobbs, Elizabeth Honey, Ann James, Alison Lester, Andrew McLean, Patricia Mullins and Julie Vivas.

The workshop was a fantastic opportunity to see some of the amazing collections held by the NCACL and learn about the work that they are doing. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that a file had been opened for me and my ‘Tales from Brambleberry Farm’ books. I will be donating copies of all editions of my books, as well as my notes, drafts, marketing and merchandise. If you have written or illustrated a published Australian children’s book I am sure the NCACL would love to hear from you!

If you’re in town before 11 September, the NCACL is also holding an exhibit of works by May Gibbs at the Canberra Museum and Gallery in Canberra city, go take a look before it closes. I’ll report back about it in a couple of week’s time.

If you are an author, illustrator, teacher and/or just love Australian children’s literature, make sure you keep connected to the NCACL by subscribing to their newsletter or ‘Like’ them on Facebook.

I particularly enjoyed seeing a few children’s books about Nancy Wake on exhibit at the NCACL. One book looked particularly interesting, ‘The White Mouse – The Story of Nancy Wake’ by author and illustrator Peter Gouldthorpe and I was lucky enough to view the author’s notes, draft illustrations and layouts as part of the NCACL exhibit.

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