Reading Teacher’s minds: the library of an Australian Teacher’s College

Mary Carroll, Anna Griffith

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation onlypeer-review


Reading Teacher’s minds: the library of an Australian Teacher’s College
This paper will examine some recent work conducted by the authors into the contents of the library of the former Melbourne Teachers College (MTC) from its establishment in the late nineteenth century. Using the library records as lens and the collection as cultural artifact we will discuss what the collection and its buildings have to tell us about some of the influences at work on education in Australia during this period. The archives of the MTC make it clear the concept of an educational library was seen as important in the professionalization process and the collection and the library were dynamic and evolving as attitudes towards educational materials for teachers and financial circumstances changed. From grand visions in the 1880’s, to depression in the 1890s and the impact of the world wars on the transport of books, the evolution of the MTC library was been marked by the availability of funds, community attitudes and changing ideas about what teachers should be reading. Reflecting changing ideas about the way a library should be used, size of the collection, usage and the importance placed on it the library has also occupied multiple spaces over time. Originally the library occupied a part of the central portion of the main 1888 building, the old “Music Hall” (now Gryphon Gallery), as well as a “Western Reading Room” before ultimately, in 1970, being housed in the Education Resource Centre (ERC) now re-imagined as the Eastern Resource Centre, University of Melbourne. This building, now mostly lost, came to reflect not just teacher education but the aspirations and vision of the MTC’s founders. The fate and evolution of the MTC library have much to tell us about the story of a profession and influences at work on it over time.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventANZHES 2015 : Intersecting and Contested Histories of Education - Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand
Duration: 04 Dec 201506 Dec 2015


ConferenceANZHES 2015
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
Internet address


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