Today, 5th December, marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Gumnut Babies by May Gibbs.
First published on 5 December 1916, and retailing at one shilling and sixpence. the first print run of 3,000 books sold out before Christmas. The characters, cute, innocent anthropomorphised gumnuts and gum-blossoms were extremely popular with the war weary public in Australia.
Read more about May Gibbs and her writings..
When May Gibbs died in 1969, she left her estate to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and all her artworks, papers and copyright to the NSW Society for Crippled Children (now The Northcott Society) and the Spastic Centre of NSW (now the Cerebral Palsy Alliance).
In 1970 the two charities presented the May Gibbs archive to the State Library of NSW.
Images copyright - The Northcott Society and Cerebral Palsy Alliance 2016.
To celebrate this anniversary, the State Library of New South Wales is hosting a free display featuring the original illustrations and beautiful reproductions from May Gibb’s much loved children’s books.