Christmas in Adelaide can be a sweltering ordeal, but us Adelaidians never fail to put on some kind of show; whether it’s creating a homemade Chrissy tree out of West End tins, or enjoying a stroll underneath the European-esque festive decor within Rundle Mall’s Adelaide Arcade. Either way, there’s always something going on, and this year there’s a truly gigantic Christmas tree going up inside the State Library of South Australia.
For the first time, the mammoth greenery will light up the Mortlock Chamber in the hidden crux of the historic North Terrace library. Standing at a whopping seven metres tall, the tree spans to the height of the first level of the Mortlock in a glorious display which exudes some sort of Oxfordian atmosphere in the wintertime.
To complement the tree, a Christmas-themed display from the State Library’s Children’s Literature Research Collection consisting of over 70,000 items from around the world will reflect past Christmas traditions in different countries. The collection features traditional Christmas games, toys and books, including a moveable pop-up book Father Christmas (1961) by famed Czechoslovakian paper artist, Vojtěch Kubašta.
As part of the display, the State Library of South Australia has partnered with Raising Literacy Australia to support one of its vital early years literacy programs, Read to Me.
Raising Literacy Australia CEO, Elizabeth Davis says, “Our partnership with the State Library focuses on the ‘Buy a Book, Gift a Book’ initiative which will directly benefit South Australian children in out-of-home care through our Read to Me program.
“Read to Me provides these children with regular deliveries of books, resources and activities, supporting their development in the critical early years. Read to Me receives no government funding, relying entirely on the generosity of the public.
“We encourage visitors to the Library’s Christmas tree display to pledge their support by buying a book for a friend or family member, plus one or more for a vulnerable child,” Elizabeth shares.
Other highlights of the Mortlock Chamber’s tree residency include:
- Pageant Day performance – Adelaide vocal ensemble Choral Grief will perform at 11am under the Christmas tree on Saturday 12 November
- Christmas reading nook – visitors can take time out to read a book in a festive-themed reading nook
- Christmas story telling – join local authors from Raising Literacy Australia and storytellers to share their favourite Christmas stories under the Christmas tree at 11am daily from Monday 19 December until Friday23 December
- Christmas craft – help decorate a Christmas tree by colouring and hanging a Christmas ornament inspired by the images from the Kubašta pop-up book
- School choir performances – school choirs will fill the Mortlock with Christmas joy with a series of performances from Monday 5 December until Friday 9 December at 12 noon and 1.30pm
State Library of South Australia Director, Geoff Strempel says, “We look forward to welcoming families to the library to see the spectacular display in the Mortlock. We are delighted to create some holiday magic and spread the Christmas cheer once again.”
The tree will illuminate the Mortlock Chamber at 9am until 5pm on Saturday 12 November, and will be open to the public on Mondays and Tuesdays between 8am and 7pm, Wednesdays to Fridays from 8am until 5pm, and Saturdays and Sundays between 12pm and 5pm, but closed on public holidays.
All images supplied.