Year 8 Biretta Excursion to the State Library of Victoria

On Monday the 8th of August Year 8 Biretta accompanied by Miss Capomolla and Mrs Bielinski attended various guided tours and workshops at the State Library of Victoria. Drawing from their knowledge of Medieval Europe students explored the history of medieval manuscripts and viewed a wide range of primary sources in the Mirror of the World exhibition. Students were able to trace the evolution of the written word and viewed many historic artefacts including a 4000-year -old tax receipt. Students also gained an understanding of the Library’s role in collecting historic books and manuscripts, and experienced the building’s unique heritage, architecture and legacy. Inspired by the exhibition’s displays, students created their own illuminated manuscript page, learning how to write in decorative medieval script.

Mrs Kamila Bielinski
Head of Humanities

Student Reflections:

In 8B’s adventure to the State Library of Victoria I learnt how literature has evolved through the ages, from the original writing on tablets to the writing we do today. We saw some old hand written books and learnt that some of them had life-sized images of birds in it and was worth $12,000,000. We were also taught how to write in a medieval style, ‘uncial’. This part of the day I enjoyed especially as it was geared more towards my creative side. We were told something by our tour guide that made me feel sceptical; that libraries are more useful now than they were before the internet. He said that on the Internet people only have access to 10% of the information. Something that I hope I remember from the experience is how to write in medieval style writing, ‘uncial’, as it was both fun and challenging. All in all, the day was fun and a good experience for me and hopefully for the rest of 8B.

- Jarrod Sands, 8B

The State Library was an enlightening experience that opened my mind to hundreds of brilliant concepts, such as the fact that writing was invented to immortalise what no-one wanted to remember. It then eventually became a tool for religion, as people in religious hierarchies were often the only people who could write. Then the printing press came and anyone could write, revolutionising the world. It also taught me that something insignificant like catalogues could be, no, will be, of great important to future historians. All in all, it was an enlightening and enjoyable experience.

- John Burns, 8B

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