There exists no detailed account of the 40 Australian women teachers employed within the “concentration camps” established by British forces in the Orange River and…
There exists no detailed account of the 40 Australian women teachers employed within the “concentration camps” established by British forces in the Orange River and Transvaal colonies during the Boer War. The purpose of this paper is to critically respond to this dearth in historiography.
A large corpus of newspaper accounts represents the richest, most accessible and relatively idiosyncratic source of data concerning this contingent of women. The research paper therefore interprets concomitant print-based media reports of the period as a resource for educational and historiographical data.
Towards the end of the Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902) a total of 40 Australian female teachers – four from Queensland, six from South Australia, 14 from Victoria and 16 from New South Wales – successfully answered the imperial call conscripting educators for schools within “concentration camps” established by British forces in the Orange River and Transvaal colonies. Women’s exclusive participation in this initiative, while ostensibly to teach the Boer children detained within these camps, also exerted an influential effect on the popular consciousness in reimagining cultural ideals about female teachers’ professionalism in ideological terms.
One limitation of the study relates to the dearth in official records about Australian women teachers in concentration camps given that; not only are Boer War-related records generally difficult to source; but also that even the existent data is incomplete with many chapters missing completely from record. Therefore, while the data about these women is far from complete, the account in terms of newspaper reports relies on the existent accounts of them typically in cases where their school and community observe their contributions to this military campaign and thus credit them with media publicity.
The paper’s originality lies in recovering the involvement of a previously underrepresented contingent of Australian women teachers while simultaneously offering a primary reading of the ideological work this involvement played in influencing the political narrative of Australia’s educational involvement in the Boer War.
HAVING outlined the scheme for monotyped catalogues, it only remains to consider it in its financial aspects. At Hampstead tenders were obtained for the same catalogue by monotype, linotype, and by ordinary setting up. It may be mentioned that the catalogue is of royal‐octavo size, in double columns, each being fifteen ems wide and fifty deep. Main entries are in bourgeois; subject‐headings are set (by hand) in clarendon, and the entries under such headings are put in brevier. Notes and contents were specified for either minion or nonpareil, and many lines break into part‐italics. The monotype machine provided all these founts except the two already mentioned—italic numerals and clarendon. We had to do without the former type, but the latter not being numerous are easily carried in as wanted from an ordinary case. Naturally, I cannot give the exact figures of the accepted tender, but it may be stated that in our particular case the cheapest quotation was for linotype work, although there was not much difference between that and monotyping; whilst for both these methods worked out at appreciably less than the quotations for ordinary hand‐work.
HIS holidays over, before the individual and strenuous winter work of his library begins, the wise librarian concentrates for a few weeks on the Annual Meeting of the Library Association. This year the event is of unusual character and of great interest. Fifty years of public service on the part of devoted workers are to be commemorated, and there could be no more fitting place for the commemoration than Edinburgh. It is a special meeting, too, in that for the first time for many years the Library Association gathering will take a really international complexion. If some too exacting critics are forward to say that we have invited a very large number of foreign guests to come to hear themselves talk, we may reply that we want to hear them. There is a higher significance in the occasion than may appear on the surface—for an effort is to be made in the direction of international co‐operation. In spite of the excellent work of the various international schools, we are still insular. Now that the seas are open and a trip to America costs little more than one to (say) Italy, we hope that the way grows clearer to an almost universal co‐working amongst libraries. It is overdue. May our overseas guests find a real atmosphere of welcome, hospitality and friendship amongst us this memorable September!
In October, 1902, the Secretary of the Mineral Water Bottle Exchange and Trade Protection Society addressed a letter to the Clerk of the London County Council stating that aerated and mineral waters are, in many instances, manufactured under insanitary conditions, and suggesting that the Council should take action in the matter. The Public Health Committee of the Council thereupon directed that a number of premises where aerated waters are manufactured should be inspected, and, in February, 1903, Dr. Shirley Murphy, the Medical Officer to the Council, presented a report drawn up by Dr. Hamer, the Assistant Medical Officer, by whom the inspections ordered were carried out. Dr. Hamer came to the conclusion that it was most desirable in the interests of the consumer that the manufacture of aerated waters in London should be regulated and controlled. The quantity of aerated water sold in London is very large, and Dr. Hamer's inspection of numerous premises showed that there are many possible sources of dangerous contamination of the water used during the process of the manufacture. We are in a position to state that Dr. Hamer was thoroughly justified in drawing the conclusions which appear in his report. The enormous growth in popularity during recent years of aerated and mineral waters, while unquestionably fraught with a most important influence for good, has brought a number of firms into existence who manufacture more or less inferior and, in some instances, positively injurious and dangerous waters, and who place their products on the market at “cutting” prices, with the result that the honest and careful manufacturer on the one hand, and the public on the other, are made to suffer. Unfair “competition” of the kind referred to exists, of course, in every trade, and only by the authoritative approval of the good and, by implication, the authoritative condemnation of the bad, can such “competition” be effectively checked. But where the health of the consumer is directly threatened or affected, as it particularly is by the supply of inferior or actually injurious aerated waters, the necessity for adequate regulation and control is immediately obvious. The matter cannot be dealt with under the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts. It is not one involving analysis only but, so far as analysis is concerned, the provisions of the Acts make it impossible to carry out the analytical investigations that would be required. In addition to the official registration of all manufacturers of mineral and aerated waters, a combination of inspection and analysis by an authoritative bedy of some kind, or by a recognised individual authority, is necessary to supply a sufficient guarantee to the public and efficient protection to the manufacturer and vendor of pure and high‐class waters.
We issue a double Souvenir number of The Library World in connection with the Library Association Conference at Birmingham, in which we have pleasure in including a special article, “Libraries in Birmingham,” by Mr. Walter Powell, Chief Librarian of Birmingham Public Libraries. He has endeavoured to combine in it the subject of Special Library collections, and libraries other than the Municipal Libraries in the City. Another article entitled “Some Memories of Birmingham” is by Mr. Richard W. Mould, Chief Librarian and Curator of Southwark Public Libraries and Cuming Museum. We understand that a very full programme has been arranged for the Conference, and we have already published such details as are now available in our July number.
ANOTHER Annual Meeting has come and gone. It was scarcely to be expected that the meeting at Bradford would be a record in the number of members attending, seeing that it is only three years ago since the Association met in the neighbouring city of Leeds, and that Bradford cannot boast either the historical associations or the architectural and scenic setting of many other towns. For the most part therefore the members who did attend, attended because they were interested in the serious rather than the entertainment or excursion side of the gathering, which was so far perhaps to the advantage of the meetings and discussions. Nevertheless, the actual number of those present—about two hundred—was quite satisfactory, and none, we are assured, even if the local functions were the main or an equal element of attraction, could possibly have regretted their visit to the metropolis of the worsted trade. Fortunately the weather was all that could be desired, and under the bright sunshine Bradford looked its best, many members, who expected doubtless to find a grey, depressing city of factories, being pleasingly disappointed with the fine views and width of open and green country quite close at hand.
IT is a very encouraging sign to those interested in the welfare of children that so much attention is being bestowed upon them by library authorities. On every side activity is apparent: most new buildings have a room set aside for the exclusive use of juveniles, and many old buildings are being adapted and special provision made for the young. In these circumstances a brief summary of practical requirements may not come amiss.
THE curtain has now been rung down on the Jubilee of the Library Association and all who witnessed or took part in the performance will agree that the show was good. The setting of the scene in so beautiful a city, the lavish and dignified hospitality, the fine and sympathetic chairmanship of the new President, the general good‐humoured seriousness of the discussions—all these things will remain to make the Edinburgh Conference the most memorable in our annals. The Conference was not only nation‐wide and empire‐wide—it was world‐wide; and several languages and many accents were heard. Librarians of great fame, who hitherto have been names only, became known friends within the week.
UP to the present the war strain has not had a great effect upon the libraries of this country. Issues have naturally fallen in some departments—particularly in districts where there is a large floating population of aliens—but this has been counterbalanced by increased use in other directions. Many libraries have already been made the local headquarters of relief committees, special constabulary, the National Reserve, boy scouts' associations, etc., and as recruiting stations, and where there is sufficient accommodation, it is proper that the familiar library building should be so used for these emergency national affairs.