Manuscripts, oral history and pictures catalogue
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  • Title
    Jean Garling collection, ca. 1823-1998
  • Creator
  • Level of description
  • Date

    1823 - 1998
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Physical Description
    30 boxes - 5.6 Meters
    Textual Records
    Textual Records - (computer printouts)
    Textual Records - (typescript)
    Textual Records - (typescript, photocopy)
    Textual Records - (typescript, carbon)
    Textual Records - (typescript, processed)
    Textual Records - (printed)

    Jean Garling, balletomane, was born at Gilgandra, N.S.W., in 1907, the youngest child of Arthur Frederick Garling, shopkeeper, and his wife Minnie Christina, nee Marshall. Her great-great-grandfather, Frederick Garling (1745-1848), who had arrived in N.S.W. in 1815, was the senior of the first two solicitors appointed to the Supreme Court of N.S.W.. His elder son, Frederick Garling junior (1806-1863), became Sydney's first marine artist.

    Garling attended Gulargambone Public School and, briefly, Dubbo High School. She then moved to Sydney to continue her secondary education at Shirley (Ailanthus College), Edgecliff (now incorporated into Kambala School), and, lastly, was enrolled at Sydney Church of England Grammar School for Girls (SCEGGS), Darlinghurst. She studied physiotherapy at the University of Sydney and graduated with a Diploma of Massage in 1927.

    Her first professional appointment was as Resident Masseuse at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Garling served as a physiotherapist with the rank of Lieutenant in the Australian Army Medical Women's Service in Darwin, 1941-1942. After her tour of duty she worked variously at the Repatriation General Hospital, Concord, and at Sydney Hospital. Her love of the performing arts, nurtured throughout her youth, had been demonstrated when she danced in a number of concerts for the troops. In 1947 she was the Universal Service Group entrant in the Miss Australia competition, organised to raise funds for war veterans.

    Garling was a presence behind the scenes as well as on the stage in a number of dance and theatrical productions in Sydney. She worked as a backstage manager for the Sydney Eisteddfod, including service on its state-wide tours, and later in the same role for Musica Viva. In 1947 she starred in her own scripted play 'The Jokers', produced by the Mercury Players. She published Australian Notes on the Ballet (1950), a comprehensive history of ballet in Australia from 1800 to the inaugural performance of John Antill's Corroboree. She wrote the entry on 'Ballet and the Dance' in The Australian Encyclopaedia (1958). She was Ballet and Theatre critic for the magazine Tempo and Television, 1951-1960.

    In the early 1960s, Garling began to research her family history utilising the documentary sources of the State Library of New South Wales. In 1965 she organised the sesquicentennial celebrations of the arrival of the first member of the Garling family in Australia. Three years later she became a founding member and the first Vice President of the 1788-1820 Pioneer Association. She was a long-time member of the Women's Pioneer Society of Australasia and of the Royal Australian Historical Society. For the latter and for sundry other groups she conducted walking tours of The Rocks, an area in which her great-great-grandfather had lived.

    Jean Garling bequeathed her entire estate to the State Library of New South Wales. Over several decades she had developed a close association with the institution up the road from her apartment at the Astor in Macquarie Street. She had been one of the founding members of The Library Society in 1983 and had been designated a Governor Benefactor of The Library Foundation in 1992. Jean Garling died on 8 April 1998.
  • Scope and Content
    Manuscript material
    1. Jean Garling - papers, 1897-1998, together with associated papers, 1823-1998 (Call No.: MLMSS 7020)
    Pictorial material
    2. Jean Garling : pictorial material including studio portaits and ephemera, ca. 1896-1998 (Call No.: PXE 881)
    3. Jean Garling collection : portrait photoprints, 1920-1950 (Call No.: PXD 776 v.1)
    4. Jean Garling collection : original watercolours and prints by various artists including Frederick Garling, 1850 - 1940 (Call No.: PXD 776 v.2)
    5. Dulcitone / musical instrument owned by Jean Garling (Call No.: XR 64)
    6. Portable writing desk, silverware and other personal relics owned by Jean Garling (Call No.: LR 84)
  • System of arrangement
    This collection comprises 6 manuscript and pictorial record series. You may navigate to a more detailed description of each series from this collection record.
  • Source
    Bequeathed by Jean Garling in 1998
  • General note

    Digital order no:a509006
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