A typoghraphical celebration of design and discovery.
February 25th, 2010
To commemorate the Mitchell Library’s centennial anniversary, an entire new alphabet was created and unveiled in the 100-day countdown leading up to 9 March 2010.
Compiled for over three months by design agency Frost – in collaboration with curators and staff from the NSW State Library – the alphabet is of a visually intriguing and historically rich design.
Dipping into the library’s extensive collection of books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, paintings and relics, each letter was intricately designed around the theme of the discovery and exploration of Australia and the Pacific.
Many of these 120 unique objects on which the letters are based are previously unseen by the public. Adding a personal touch are the little-known but intriguing tales behind each letter and number.
With fascinating stories from different perspectives, all illustrating a slice of Australian life, the items featured include a 1930s surf lifesaver, James Cook’s Endeavour painted in full sail, Australia’s first distinctive coinage ‘The Holey Dollar’ from 1813, and a Kenelm Digby watercolour of a drum from Tonga.
Since November 28 last year, the public have been treated to the unveiling of the letters one at a time every few days, starting with ‘A’, and followed by the numbers 10 to 0.
The celebrations will continue until 16 June, with a wide-ranging events calendar including exhibitions, film screenings, children’s programs and more.
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