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Howard library opens in Canberra

Australia’s first public prime ministerial library, dedicated to former prime minister John Howard, has opened in Canberra, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Howard Library, said by organisers to be nonpartisan, displays items related to Howard’s years in office between 1996 and 2007. Its aim is to allow members of the public to understand more about politics and the particular politics of Howard’s era as leader.

The library is divided into two parts, with the collection partly being held on display at Old Parliament House and partly in archives at the University of New South Wales in Canberra.

‘The Howard Library is apolitical and non-partisan,’ said library director Tom Frame, a professor at UNSW. ‘We aren’t trying to say that this is the greatest government that Australia’s ever had but it’s a government which is significant by its longevity and by the enduring nature of its legacy.’

The collection includes the suit Howard wore in 1996 when he addressed gun owners following the Port Arthur mass-shooting, as well as Howard’s desk, which was first used by former prime minister Stanley Bruce in 1923.

 

Category: Library news