BohemiAntipodean Samizdat

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Calling all NSW Parliamentary Library staff from the good old days when Dr Cope was in charge (1962 - 1991), when going to Stack meant an encounter with the lovely Arthur, to the bindery with Wally and Brian, when we tried to stay awake as Richard enthused about gov. pubs as part of our initiation, when internal memos were as simple as 'Missing Foodstuffs overnight', when Neville Wran told me at one Christmas party that 'The Library was the most efficient service in Parliament', when Franca and Greig conversed in Italian, when David, Greig and Brian Vaughan had their tete a tetes (what were they talking about ?), when we had our own Brazilian cowboy on staff and when Dr Cope donned his white Cocktail jacket we knew it was party time - and that's what it's time to do - to party...well at least to get together and share our memories.... (Ring 02 92302111)

Dr RLC - Cope
[ Image by Don McPhedran taken at the NSW Parliamentary Library circa 14 days and 5 years after MD birthday Title Russell Cope, New South Wales Parliamentary Librarian 1962-, at his desk Date of Work - 02 May 1963 ]

As the friendliest and considerate President in my time in NSW Parliament, Johno Johnson, noted: In 1991 Dr Russell Cope, the Parliamentary Librarian, concluded 40 years of meritorious service Dr Cope is one of those living treasures that few institutions have


The publications of Dr Russell Cope in New South Wales began to shape an ethos of excellence in parliamentary librarianship at the beginning of the decade, and helped alert and unite practitioners Australasian Parliamentary Libraries - History

Everybody's Free to Play in the Bear Pit or a Sandpit Strangers in the House
You did not have to be mad or CW to survive at NSW Parliament House but it helped ;-) Time and again we've seen strange examples of parliamentary bureaucracy. My former boss, Dr R.L. Cope, has worked in the parliamentary environment for 40 years and provides this amazing summary of parliamentary culture. Culture of a Parliamentary Bureaucracy - Can fiction be fact? A Note

Russell Cope might not qualify as The noblest Roman of them all!", but he
certainly will rank as one of the outstanding librarians that this country has produced, and undoubtedly the doyen of Parliamentary librarians of this generation . We often hear the throw-away line "You are a Gentleman and a Scholar" offered as a frivolous, but sincere expression of appreciation, to a person who would probably have difficulty in satisfying either criterion . In the case of Dr Cope, both meanings are entirely applicable : those of us who have had the pleasure and privilege to be associated with him, are thankful of the
opportunity of sharing a small part of the stage of Parliamentary librarianship which he has graced for nearly thirty years, and
can attest to the undeniable fact that Russell Cope is both a scholar, and a gentleman.
Annual Reports
A library’s approach to online government information
Mr Speaker informed the House of the retirement of Dr Russell Leslie David Cope from the position of Parliamentary Librarian on 21 July 1991, and made the following remarks. "With the indulgence of the House I wish to make a few remarks about Dr Cope in recognition of his service. Russell Cope joined the staff of the Parliamentary Library on 1 March 1949 some 4 months short of his 18th birthday. His 41 years of loyalty to the Library places him in the vanguard of service to this Parliament. Even more remarkable is that the last 29 years of his service has been as only the seventh Parliamentary Librarian since 1856.
During the time he has worked in the Parliamentary Library, Russell has seen the Library staff grow in size from 10 to, currently, 33. This increase in staff reflects the ever increasing demands that Members and others have placed on the Parliamentary Library. Dr Cope has also been at the forefront of evolving new services to meet those ever changing needs. A part of those new services have been dramatically illustrated in relative recent times with the move of the Library to its current modern premises and the introduction of associated modern technology.
1990 provided the crowning glory to Dr Cope's career with the very successful sesquicentenary celebrations of the Parliamentary Library.
I am sure all Honourable Members will join in with my grateful and personal thanks to Dr Cope for his distinguished service to this Parliament and acknowledgment of the help provided by the Library as a whole. I also wish to convey to Dr Cope the best wishes of the House for an equally long and well deserved retirement."
Mr Greiner moved, That Mr Speaker's remarks with reference to Dr Russell Leslie David Cope on his retirement from the position of Parliamentary Librarian be entered in the Votes and Proceedings.Dr Cope

I pay tribute to one of Parliament's most valuable and faithful officers. I am not talking about a Speaker, Premier or some other elected representative, nor am I speaking about a long-serving Chamber officer who has helped guide proceedings for decades. Instead I pay tribute to one whose work rarely attracts the limelight focused on the rest of us; someone who, throughout a 35-year career here, has supported the work of members on behalf of those we represent and—more importantly, in my view—has worked to ensure that our parliamentary system and its history are better understood by the wider community and succeeding generations. David Clune
In 2009 Greig Tillotson has announced his retirement effective at the end of July. Greig has worked within the NSW Parliamentary Library for over 30 years and became
Librarian in 2006. Greig Tillotson


I am grateful for crossing paths with dynamic people like my boss at the parliamentary library Dr Cope

• The New South Wales Parliamentary Library is the oldest of Australia's nine parliamentary libraries, and is also one of the oldest official libraries in the country. Established by the administrative action of the Legislative Council in 1840, it became a Joint Parliamentary Library with the introduction of responsible government in 1856. The Library's functions were further specified by Joint Resolutions in 1862 and 1968. But in 2009 it has no website NSW Parliamentary Library once a rooster now a feather duster; [There is a climate of corruption in NSW Knowledge is the mother of wisdom and virtue; Ghosts roaming NSW Parliament: John Hatton was something of a burr under the saddle of New South Wales politics; Librarian admits he was paid by US bookseller NSW Parliamentary Attendant circa 1980-1981, a bloke who took my BH neighbour Sonia Todd, and his Strictly Ballroom, to Bratislava circa 1986. My spies tell me that Buz as always disobeyed the communist authorities on and off the stage ;-) Mark Anthony Luhrmann; Librarian Mark D'Arney killed himself after blowing the whistle on the discount sale of 3000 historic books from the State Parliament's library Death of a whistleblower; Thou canst not die. Here thou art more than safe. Where every book is thy epitaph In memoriam, Mark D'Arney, Librarian ]

CODA: The crowning glory of the former NSW Parliamentary Library, now called the Jubilee Room, is the ornate stained glass lantern, one of the best examples of stained glass in Sydney. It too was restored in the 1980s with the rest of the room and the old sections of the Parliament. The words around the central medallion echo the room's origins as a library: "Knowledge is the mother of wisdom and virtue".