This week I’m blogging and tweeting from Wollongong. It is the annual festival of history also known as the Australian Historical Association conference or #OzHA2013 on Twitter. Historians from Australia, New Zealand and further afield have gathered here to share and discuss their exciting work.
I came to the conference on the search for new books to share with the participants of the Australian Women Writers’ Challenge. For the last six months I have been a volunteer for the Challenge, looking after histories, biographies and memoirs. I want to raise awareness of all the great books in these genres that are available.
Yesterday the Challenge revealed that over one thousand reviews have been written and over five hundred authors have had their work reviewed online in the first six months of this year. These figures are impressive but how did histories, biographies and memoirs fare?
Overall the Challenge should easily exceed the number of reviews of histories, biographies and memoirs we achieved last year. Already Challenge participants have written eighty-seven reviews. In my post, Histories, Biographies and Memoirs – Reflection on Six Months, I looked behind these figures and found that 59% of the reviews were of memoirs. Just thirteen biographies and eighteen histories were reviewed.
Over the next few months I want to help the participants find histories and biographies to read and review. At the conference I have found many books which have been recently released but I have not known about. I wonder if the low numbers of reviews of biographies and histories for the Challenge are due to the participants not knowing of the existence of these books?
In order to help the general book-reading public find interesting histories and biographies to read I am creating a list of the books I have found out about at the conference. This list includes male as well as female authors, Australians, New Zealanders and probably some written by authors of other nationalities. Most of the books have been published in Australia, but some have not. Many are about Australian history but there are plenty that look further afield. I’m excited by the rich array of topics that are covered.
The list is available on a separate page of this blog – Books at #OzHA2013. I will be adding to it throughout the conference. I hope that through it you will discover some great books that you enjoy reading.
More About the Conference
- Janine Rizzetti who writes a great blog, The Resident Judge of Port Phillip, is here at the conference and blogging it too. In her post, AHA Conference Tuesday 9th July, she gives an informative overview of yesterday’s sessions.
- Sharon Howard is maintaining an archive of all the tweets from the conference. You can browse through the archive here. While you are at it have a look at some of the historical resources on the web that she manages: Manuscripts Online 1000-1500, Old Bailey Proceedings Online 1674-1913, London Lives 1690-1800, Locating London’s Past, and Connected Histories 1500-1900.