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Ships and maritime history: Paul McGuire Maritime Library

The State Library has one of the best shipping and maritime history collections in Australia. It includes books, periodicals, newspapers, shipping registers and several substantial pictorial collections.

About the Paul McGuire Maritime Library

Australia has, since its settlement in 1788, depended on sea transport for its trade with other countries. The State Library of South Australia has a particular interest in the literature of the sea and ships, and has built up a strong collection of books, magazines and maps on maritime matters. The Library also has several special collections of photographic material about shipping. More detail is provided in this factsheet under the tab titled Images of ships and boats.

In memory of her husband, the late Paul McGuire, Mrs F.M. McGuire donated to the Libraries Board of South Australia a considerable sum of money to establish a trust fund for the development of a special maritime library. The Paul McGuire Maritime Library was established in 1979 and contains publications from all over the world relating to the sea and shipping. This, together with its other shipping collections, makes the State Library one of the leading repositories of maritime information in the world.

The Paul McGuire Maritime Library includes the Thomas Walter Hardy America's Cup Collection which was launched by Sir James Hardy OBE and the Walker Collection in memory of Commander Jefferson H. Walker D.S.O., R.A.N.

You can establish what published material is in the Paul McGuire Library by undertaking a collection search on the State Library's catalogue

Who were the McGuires?

Dominic Paul McGuire CBE was born at Peterborough and became a distinguished South Australian. A writer of more than 30 works of fiction, verse, history, travel and politics, Paul McGuire was particularly interested in ships and the sea. His book Westward the course, written to engage American interest in the Western Pacific, went to press the week Pearl Harbour was attacked, and was a best seller. During World War II Paul McGuire served with naval intelligence and reached the rank of Commander.

For five years from 1954, he served as the Australian Minister (later Ambassador) to Italy. He was twice a member of the Australian delegation to the United Nations. Among his other achievements, Paul McGuire went to London as advisor to the Prime Minister for the Prime Minister's Conference of 1951, and represented the Australian Government at the Coronation of the Pope in 1959. He was president of the Good Neighbour Council of SA, and a founding member of the SA Branch of the Naval Historical Society. He died in Adelaide in 1978, aged 75.

Frances Margaret McGuire AM, led an equally varied and productive life, from being invited to join J.C. Williamson's company as a singer of light opera, to assisting in production of the first batch of insulin in the southern hemisphere.

Following her marriage to Paul McGuire in 1927, she dedicated much of her time to raising the awareness of the role played by women in our society, serving on numerous committees. Margaret McGuire was one of the Trustees instrumental in developing the Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden, just south of the River Torrens on King William Road. Margaret McGuire also wrote on many subjects. Among her 12 books are an officially commissioned work, The Royal Australian Navy, a history of Australian theatre and a dramatic poem describing the battle between HMAS Yarra and the Japanese Squadron on 4 March 1942, Victory for Yarra, published in 1994. Margaret McGuire died in Adelaide the following year, aged 95.

You can read more about the McGuires on SA Memory.

  Friends of the Paul McGuire Maritime Library

 

 

 

 

 

The Friends of the Paul McGuire Maritime Library is an incorporated association which was established in 1981 to support the Paul McGuire Maritime Library. Its regular newsletter, The Traverse Board advises Friends of meetings, additions to the Paul McGuire Maritime Library and other matters. The Patron is Sir James Hardy OBE.

Membership:

New members are always welcome. Further information is available from The Secretary or the Friends' website.