Thanks everyone who gave feedback on the June issue of New Arrivals, your comments are appreciated and will help us to improve future editions.

Last month we featured the Celeste Geer documentary “Then the Wind Changed” presented at the 2012 Australian Community Engagement and Fire Awareness Conference. With help from Nicole Miller in the Community Engagement Team we have now finished loading all the presentations from the Conference on to the Library catalogue, you can see them all here:

Australian Community Engagement and Fire Awareness Conference presentations

Fire Prevention Posters

This month our newest arrivals are actually quite old – six original posters dating back to the 1950s and 1960s, some featuring Smokey, the NSW Bush Fire Committee’s fire prevention koala. Smokey made his debut appearance at the 1957 Royal Easter Show. The Bush Fire Bulletin reported at the time that: “…from now on the winsome and animated N.S.W. “Smokey” will be making regular appeals for the exercise of care and caution in the use of fire…”.

See him in all his cuteness in the posters, which were donated to us by Tim Carroll, Manager Lake George Zone. We’ve scanned them and added links to the Library catalogue (click on “Full Display” and find the link to the PDF file to download the posters)

Bush Fire Bulletin

Speaking of the Bulletin, this year we celebrate its 60th birthday. The NSW RFS Library holds a full set of the Bush Fire Bulletin from its first issue in 1952 and receives many requests for copies of articles from past editions. We have gradually been indexing the articles, and there are now over 1300 Bulletin items you can find on the Library catalogue. Just go to the main library search screen and combine your search term with the words “Bush Fire Bulletin” to find them.

Brigade Histories

The Library also holds a small but very special collection of brigade histories contributed by NSW RFS members. If you are thinking of compiling your own brigade’s history you can look at how others have done it, and of course we’d love to grow this collection with your contribution.

Early Bush Fire Films

Continuing the historic theme, these four fascinating films from the 1940s and 1950s are available for loan on one DVD:

  • Bushfire Brigade (1949) shows how volunteer bush fire brigades were first organised to prevent and fight fires.
  • Bushfire Prevention (1949) probably used for bushfire prevention and training purposes -sadly the soundtrack did not survive.
  • Bushfire Menace Here Again (1951) a newsreel item from 1951 illustrates the damage fires can cause to rural industries.
  • Who Helps the Enemy? (1945) During WWII the government became concerned that the Japanese army might use bush fire as a weapon on coastal NSW. This Movietone short was played in cinemas to warn people of the danger, with the tag line  “Remember, disaster in Australia means joy in Tokio” (sic)

Library Research Service

A reminder that the Library conducts research for both staff and volunteers. The Library holds many more valuable historical resources and has contacts throughout the other fire emergency libraries in Australia. We welcome the opportunity to research NSW RFS history as it expands the library’s collection which in turn contributes to the organisation’s knowledge base – contact the NSW RFS Library for research support.

New Book – borrow it now

Just announced! 2012 Winner of the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Australian History             

For over a decade, Gammage has examined written and visual records of the Australian landscape. He has uncovered an extraordinarily complex system of land management using fire and the life cycles of native plants to ensure plentiful wildlife and plant foods throughout the year.

See other recent additions to the Library catalogue

Many of these are available as full-text documents for immediate viewing.
New Books, DVD’s, web links, journal articles…

If you have any queries please contact us in the Library by email:  RFS.Library@rfs.nsw.gov.au  or phone: 8741 5455.

The NSW Rural Fire Service Library is a member of ALIES – Australasian Libraries in the Emergency Sector.

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