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Alison Sanchez interviewed by Susan Marsden [sound recording]
Bib ID 3291355
Format AudioAudio [sound recording]
Sanchez, Alison, 1921-2014, Interviewee
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 2004 
2 digital audio tapes (ca. 131 min.) 

Alison Sanchez, talks about her family; her childhood memories of her father, Kenneth Binns work; visits to (Old) Parliament House and the Commonwealth Library and her impressions; her father's office, the library and employees; her education; the family home at Red Hill; the family's involvement in Canberra's developing social, cultural, religious life; his role as founder and leader of the Canberra Congregational Church; Harold White; the Commonwealth Library as a lending library; Canberra bookshops; her father's friends and colleagues; visitors from Sydney and Melbourne; visiting Congregational ministers; his views and debates; the financial constraints at the library; the impact of the Depression; public service pay cuts and Binns' views; the role of New Education Fellowship (NEF); his assessment of archival records; his interest in art; her childhood impressions of Canberra; their family friends, socializing with public servants and pastoral families; entertainment; the outbreak of World War II; Binns' overseas trips and library visits; his opinions of prime ministers, Joe Lyons, John Curtin, Robert Menzies; changes during the war; Mrs Roosevelt.

Sanchez discusses the wartime money controls and impact on library; her memories of the small Commonwealth Library building (Kings Avenue); her father's grander plan, his interest in architecture; the first reading room at library; visits by scholars; the role of his library; his role in developing library systems in New Guinea and Tasmania; his interest in Papau-New Guineans; his sense of the Australian (and Scots) identity; the acquisition of the Cook journal and the [Willem de] Vlamingh plaque; his contacts with Australian writers, acquiring their books; visiting writers from overseas; memories of early Canberra families; their frugal family life; his honours and awards, CBE, CMG; his support for League of Nations; his other formal roles and achievements; the Whitlam family; her final observations, the contrast between the Binns and White era at the library; her father as founder of the National Library of Australia.


Alison Sanchez is the younger daughter of the late, Kenneth Binns, who was in charge of what became the National Library of Australia. He was a Librarian and joined the staff of Commonwealth Parliamentary Library in 1911. He became Commonwealth Parliamentary Librarian, 1928-47 and was a Member of Commonwealth Literature Censorship Board, 1937-64.


Recorded on Oct. 12, 2004 in S. Aust.

Digital master available National Library of Australia;

Index/Finding Aid Note Timed summary (10 p.) and corrected transcript (typescript, 83 leaves) 
Subjects Sanchez, Alison, 1921-2014 -- Interviews.  |  Binns, Kenneth, 1882-1969 -- Anecdotes.  |  Commonwealth Parliament Library (Australia) -- History.  |  National Library of Australia -- History.  |  Librarians -- Australia -- History.  |  Libraries -- Australia -- History.  |  Canberra (A.C.T.) -- Social life and customs -- 20th century.  |  Canberra (A.C.T.) -- Social conditions -- 20th century.
Other authors/contributors Marsden, Susan, 1952-, Interviewer


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    Special Collections Reading Room
    ORAL TRC 5318 (transcript)
    Copy: Transcript
    Special Collections Reading Room
    ORAL TRC 5318 (summary)
    Copy: Summary
    Special Collections Reading Room

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