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e-BULLETIN No. 136 – 14 April 2015


Hon Editor, Dr Ruth S. Kerr



1) News from the Federation


2) Cyark 500 project in Queensland


3) Deen De Bortoli Award for Applied History


4) Rothschild Prayer Book at National Library of Australia



1) News from the Federation

Helen Henderson
Hon. Secretary, FAHS



2) Cyark 500 project in Queensland


The Royal Historical Society of Queensland is delighted to announce that the Commissariat Store was recently digitally scanned using a mobile laser 3D mapping system, as part of the international CyArk 500 project to record 500 heritage sites across the world.

University of Queensland Lecturer, Dr Kelly Greenop and her team of architecture students used the Zebedee scanner, developed by the CSIRO. The Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Dr Steven Miles MP, visited the Commissariat Store during the scanning process on 23 March 2015 and stated that it was great to see Queensland heritage places recognised alongside international sites such as Pompeii and Mount Rushmore.

Students will create photo-real 3D models of the site. The digital record of the site will be an integral component of the archaeology exhibit and enhance the education program at the Commissariat Store.

The Society’s Manager, Ms Christina Michie, and Hon Secretary, Dr Ruth Kerr facilitated the scanning program on 23 March 2015 when the Minister attended.

(Source: Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and The Royal Historical Society of Queensland - emails – 24 and 31 March 2015)



3) Deen De Bortoli Award for Applied History


The Deen De Bortoli Award will be first awarded in 2015. Generously funded by the De Bortoli family it is named in memory of Deen De Bortoli (1936-2003). The purpose of the Award is to encourage historians writing Australian political, social, cultural and environmental history to approach their subjects in ways that use the past to inform contemporary concerns and issues. The winner will receive a citation and a prize of $4000 either at the Premier’s History Awards or the Annual History Lecture. The Award will subsequently be announced in History Australia, which will publish the citation.


The winning entry will demonstrate a sound, critical knowledge of the relevant historiography, a high level of competence in the use of primary sources, and the capacity to develop complex arguments linking the past to contemporary, contentious issues currently impacting on Australia. Nomination forms and three copies of the work with removable cover sheets should be sent to:
The Administrative Officer, History Council of NSW, PO Box R1737, Royal Exchange NSW 1225
Telephone: 02 9252 8715


1. The nominated work may be submitted in the form of an essay, paper or equivalent presentation in non-print media
2. The nominated work must demonstrate a critical knowledge of the relevant historiography, competence in the use of primary sources, and a capacity to develop complex arguments linking past and present circumstances
3. Eligible entries must be between 6,000-10,000 words, and represent work substantially undertaken in the period from January 1 2014 to March 31 2015
4. Eligible entrants may be students at educational institutions or any person in the community at large
5. Entrants must be permanent residents of Australia
6. Nominations may be made by persons other than the author, provided that the author’s agreement is secured. Nominations must be for the work of individuals
7. Only one entry may be submitted per entrant
8. Entrants must certify that the entry is their own work and that the materials used or quoted in the text are adequately acknowledged
9. It is a condition of entry that works will not be returned
10. The winning entry will be announced each year either at the Premier’s History Awards ceremony or on the occasion of the Annual History Lecture. The topic for the succeeding year will be announced at the same time
11. Entries will be open from the time of the announcement of the essay topic for the succeeding year through until March 31 of the following year.
12. In each year that the Award is held the judges for this competition will consist of the members of the History Council’s Awards committee together with a co-opted external member who is an expert on the subject nominated for that year
13. The subject for the Award will be determined each year by the Awards Committee in consultation with Darren De Bortoli


For 2015 the subjects for the Deen De Bortoli Award will be:
(1) An aspect of the history of water and the Murray Darling Basin, the Coorong and the Lower Lakes and its relation to current water policies and practices.
(2) An aspect of the history of the former Soviet Union and/or Eastern Europe since the collapse of communism with reference to how events in Russia and East Europe have impacted on Australian society and politics
(3) The impact of the Internet and social media in influencing how contemporary Australians understand their past


The closing date for nominations is 20 April 2015.


(Source: - accessed 11 April 2015)



4) Rothschild Prayer Book at National Library of Australia

The Rothschild Prayer Book, one of history’s greatest hidden manuscripts, will go on public exhibition for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere at the National Library of Australia in Canberra from 22 May.

 The lavishly illuminated manuscript, a masterpiece of Renaissance art,  was bought in 2014 at auction in New York by Australian businessman Mr Kerry Stokes, AC, for $A15.5 million – making it the world's most expensive book sold at auction at the time.

Mr Stokes has lent the Prayer Book to the National Library for exhibition in Revealing the Rothschild Prayer Book 1505-1510 from the Kerry Stokes Collection, for everyone to see. It will be placed in a temperature-controlled, state-of-the-art bespoke showcase in the Library’s Treasures Gallery for a strictly limited time.

Chair of the National Library of Australia Council, Mr Ryan Stokes, said "we are very excited to exhibit to the public this unique and important medieval manuscript.  The history of this wonderful book could tell its own fascinating story, which includes the 300 year period it was thought to be lost, acquired by the Rothschild banking family, being looted by the Nazis and hidden away for almost half a century.  What makes this book so special are the exquisite hand drawn images and perfectly preserved pages, they present its true beauty and significance".

The Rothschild Prayer Book, a book of hours created for private devotion, features 67 full-page miniature paintings, each a masterpiece in itself.  It includes splendid portraits of popular saints as well as gold borders strewn with flowers and insects depicting everyday scenes of the time.

A selection of the National Library’s own rare Medieval and Renaissance treasures will also go on show to complement the Rothschild. This display coincides with the success of a public fundraising appeal to digitise, conserve and research the National Library’s early manuscript treasures.

Revealing the Rothschild Prayer Book 1505-1510 from the Kerry Stokes Collection will be on display in the National Library’s Treasures Gallery from 22 May to 9 August 2015. Admission will be free.

(Source: - accessed 11 April 2015)