LEFT: NSW State Library curator Anna Corkhill shows Nimbin resident and original Aquarian Bob Tissott at the launch of the online tool called Amplify where Bob's recorded interviews about the iconic festival have been made available for the public to listen to. ABOVE: A file photo of the Aquarius Festival.
LEFT: NSW State Library curator Anna Corkhill shows Nimbin resident and original Aquarian Bob Tissott at the launch of the online tool called Amplify where Bob's recorded interviews about the iconic festival have been made available for the public to listen to. ABOVE: A file photo of the Aquarius Festival. Marc Stapelberg

How you can learn the story of the Nimbin Aquarius

THE State Library of NSW launched its online transcription tool Amplify in Nimbin yesterday.

The first publicly available collection is the Rainbow Archive, oral histories documenting the Northern NSW counter-culture movement since the 1970s.

Detailing the transition of Nimbin from dairy farming town to alternative lifestyle hub, the archive features interviews with people who attended the first Aquarius festival in 1973.

NSW State Library Curator Alison Wishart said Amplify uses software taken from the New York Library to preserve oral histories and encourage engagement with them.

"It's about preserving them, making them more accessible and creating engagement with our past," Ms Wishart said.

 

Lismore Librarian Lucy Kinsley worked on recording the original oral histories of the festival and says that the Aquarius Festival has great cultural significance in the town.

"It used to be a small country town and then these people from the cities came and brought new life into the town and changed it forever," Ms Kinsley said.

Original Aquarius Festival goer Bob Tissott, who contributed to the oral histories, attended the launch and said like minds came together in 1973 and Nimbin evolved from there.

"I don't even know if we knew what we were looking for at the time, it was a very organic feeling we wanted to be with people who were like us, who thought like us," Mr Tissott said.

 

Historic: Festivals: Aquarius Festival at Nimbin
Photo The Northern Star Archives
Historic: Festivals: Aquarius Festival at Nimbin Photo The Northern Star Archives The Northern Star Archives

Digital Projects Leader of the State Library Jenna Bain loved that many people interviewed in Nimbin are living the same way today.

"I'm really inspired by the community spirit that went into the festival that has followed through to now, so many people that were interviewed in the collection are still living in Nimbin today with the same ethos and ideals," Ms Bain said.



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