Appelt Diary at Parliament House, Adelaide

Samuel Doering, right, officially presents The Diary of Emilie Appelt to Dr. John Weste, left, librarian at the South Australian Parliament Research Library.

On 30 November 2021, the editor of The Diary of Emilie Appelt, Samuel Doering, met with Dr. John Weste of the South Australian Parliament Research Library to deposit a copy of the book in the collection.

It is required under South Australian law, specifically under Section 35 of the Libraries Act 1982, that a copy of all publications published in the state be deposited with the South Australian Parliament Research Library free of charge. The same legislation applies to the State Library of South Australia.

Dr. Weste gave Samuel a tour of the library, which provides research material, and the latest newspaper publications, for the use of Members of Parliament.

Dr. Weste explained in an Adelaide Review interview, “The library is what’s called a special library, so we have a very narrowly [sic] and specific role. In our case, to provide support to Members of Parliament and their staff in the context of their parliamentary duties.”

Nestled in the heart of Parliament House on North Terrace, the library has been in service since 1853. The collection now boasts more than 700,000 items, however, in keeping with modern times, the majority of this vast collection consists of digital content.

Some of the treasures held in the library include a Bible from the 1600s, a mechanical model of the solar system – correctly known as an orrery – constructed in 1868 near Kapunda and on loan from the Astronomical Society of South Australia, and a number of large globes ordered within the first year of the library’s foundation.

Dr. John Weste, left, looks on as Samuel Doering, right, signs The Diary of Emilie Appelt.

Prior to touring the library, Samuel asked Dr. Weste in what way Eudunda was represented in the collection. Rather surprisingly, it was discovered that Eudunda is poorly represented in the collection – there are no books containing information about the town – a fact which they both agreed needs to be rectified. Emilie Appelt’s diary is the first book in the collection to have a Eudunda collection. There were some records, the earliest being from the 1970s, though nothing earlier existed in the collection.

Emilie’s invaluable library will now not only be preserved, but provide inspiration, guidance, wisdom, and instruction from the inner corridors of Parliament House.

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