The National Library of Australia’s Ask a librarian service receives around nine hundred online reference enquiries a month. These can cover an enormous range of topics, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Here’s one example of an enquiry received this week, along with our response. Happy reading!
Q: In 1860, Archbishop Polding travelled to Murrurundi, NSW, from 17th to 19th of February. Our parish would like to know what he said when he addressed the people 150 years ago.
A: I searched the freely available Australian Newspapers service online which includes the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser for the years 1843-1893. This service can also be searched via the Library’s new online discovery service, Trove. I found one reference to Archbishop Polding’s visit to Murrurundi. There are also a number of other articles relating to his various visits in the area at this time, including one relating to his visit to Scone before he went to Murrurundi.
I also checked the Freeman’s Journal (later the Catholic Freeman’s Journal) for any report on the dedication, but the content is similar to that found in the newspaper reports above. In the issue for March 3, 1860 it was reported that… “On the following day (Sunday) after the first divine service, his Grace Archbishop Polding dedicated the holy edifice to the worship of God … On Monday … his Grace delivered a very affecting sermon to those who were to be confirmed …” Unfortunately, there were no details of the sermon reported.
You may want to contact the Archives of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney to see if they have any further information.