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National Library of Australia

The National Library of Australia is the largest reference library in Australia, responsible under the terms of the National Library Act for "maintaining and developing a national collection of library material, including a comprehensive collection of library material relating to Australia and the Australian people." In 2012–13, the National Library collection comprised 6,496,772 items, an additional 15,506 metres of manuscript material. It is located in Parkes, Canberra, ACT; the National Library of Australia, while formally established by the passage of the National Library Act 1960, had been functioning as a national library rather than a Parliamentary Library since its inception. In 1901 a Commonwealth Parliamentary Library was established to serve the newly formed Federal Parliament of Australia. From its inception the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library was driven to development of a national collection. In 1907 the Joint Parliamentary Library Committee under the Chairmanship of the Speaker, Sir Frederick William Holder defined the objective of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library in the following words: The Library Committee is keeping before it the ideal of building up, for the time when Parliament shall be established in the Federal Capital, a great Public Library on the lines of the world-famed Library of Congress at Washington.

The present library building was opened on 15 August 1968 by Prime Minister John Gorton. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Bunning and Madden in the Late Twentieth Century Stripped Classical style; the foyer is decorated in marble, with stained-glass windows by Leonard French and three tapestries by Mathieu Matégot. The building was listed on the Australian Commonwealth Heritage List on 22 June 2004. In 2012–13 the Library collection comprised 6,496,772 items, with an estimated additional 2,325,900 items held in the manuscripts collection; the Library's collections of Australiana have developed into the nation's single most important resource of materials recording the Australian cultural heritage. Australian writers and illustrators are sought and well represented—whether published in Australia or overseas; the Library's collection includes all formats of material, from books, journals and manuscripts to pictures, maps, oral history recordings, manuscript papers and ephemera.

92.1% of the Library's collection has been catalogued and is discoverable through the online catalogue. The Library has digitized over 174,000 items from its collection and, where possible, delivers these directly across the Internet; the Library is a world leader in digital preservation techniques, maintains an Internet-accessible archive of selected Australian websites called the Pandora Archive. The Library collects material produced by Australians, for Australians or about the Australian experience in all formats—not just printed works—books, newspapers, posters and printed ephemera—but online publications and unpublished material such as manuscripts and oral histories. A core Australiana collection is that of John A. Ferguson; the Library has particular collection strengths in the performing arts, including dance. The Library's considerable collections of general overseas and rare book materials, as well as world-class Asian and Pacific collections which augment the Australiana collections.

The print collections are further supported by extensive microform holdings. The Library maintains the National Reserve Braille Collection; the Library houses the largest and most developing research resource on Asia in Australia, the largest Asian language collections in the Southern hemisphere, with over half a million volumes in the collection, as well as extensive online and electronic resources. The Library collects resources about all Asian countries in Western languages extensively, resources in the following Asian languages: Burmese, Persian, Japanese, Korean, Manchu, Thai and Vietnamese; the Library has acquired a number of important Western and Asian language scholarly collections from researchers and bibliophiles. These collections include: Australian Buddhist Library Collection Braga Collection Claasz Collection Coedes Collection London Missionary Society Collection Luce Collection McLaren-Human Collection Otley Beyer Collection Sakakibara Collection Sang Ye Collection Simon Collection Harold S. Williams Collection The Asian Collections are searchable via the National Library's catalogue.

The National Library holds an extensive collection of manuscripts. The manuscript collection contains about 26 million separate items, covering in excess of 10,492 meters of shelf space; the collection relates predominantly to Australia, but there are important holdings relating to Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and the Pacific. The collection holds a number of European and Asian manuscript collections or single items have been received as part of formed book collections; the Australian manuscript collections date from the period of maritime exploration and settlement in the 18th century until the present, with the greatest area of strength dating from the 1890s onwards. The collection includes a large number of outstanding single items, such as the 14th century Chertsey Cartulary, the journal of James Cook on HM Bark Endeavour

2003 Staten Island Ferry crash

On October 15, 2003, at 3:21 p.m. the Staten Island Ferry vessel Andrew J. Barberi crashed full-speed into a concrete maintenance pier at the St. George Terminal in Upper New York Bay. Eleven people were killed and some critically. Pilot Richard J. Smith and New York City ferry director Patrick Ryan pleaded guilty and were jailed for seaman's manslaughter – Smith was piloting under impairment from painkillers, Ryan failed to enforce the city rule requiring two pilots in the wheelhouse during docking; the 310-foot ferry was at the end of its 5-mile, 25-minute trip from South Ferry, Manhattan to St. George, Staten Island. On board were 1,500 passengers, one-quarter of the maximum capacity of 6,000. Winds were heavy that afternoon, with gusts of more than 40 mph; the water in New York Harbor was described as "very choppy". Instead of docking, the ferry angled away from its berth and collided with a concrete maintenance pier; the pier ripped into the ferry's starboard side and tore into the boat's main deck where many passengers were crowding forward to disembark.

The accident left a number of victims trapped in a pile of metal and splintered wood, while other passengers jumped overboard. The ferry's hull on the Staten Island end sustained significant damage, including the destruction of bulkheads, support frames and support columns along the starboard side. Ten people were killed and 70 others injured in the accident, including several who lost limbs. An eleventh person died two months after the accident from injuries sustained during the collision. All the fatalities and most of the injuries were to passengers on the main deck; the deaths included a survivor of the September 11 attacks and a woman, placed in a drug-induced coma for two months after the accident. Paul Esposito, a 24-year-old waiter, had both legs severed below the knee, his life was saved by Kerry Griffiths, a sightseeing 34-year-old pediatric nurse from England, who applied tourniquets. The ferry's pilot, Richard J. Smith, was found shortly afterwards at home. Smith had tried to kill himself by cutting his wrists and shooting himself in the chest twice with a pellet gun.

He was taken to the same hospital. It was determined that Smith had lost consciousness while at the ship's controls, he had taken the painkillers tramadol and Tylenol PM, both of which can cause drowsiness as a side effect. The city rules required two pilots to be present during docking, but this rule had not been enforced by the management of the ferry service, Smith was the only pilot in the wheelhouse at the time. A total of five people were charged in the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Smith was charged with eleven counts of seaman's manslaughter as well as making false statements in his medical report when applying to the U. S. Coast Guard for a renewal of his pilot's license, his doctor, William Tursi, was charged for lying on the same report. The city's ferry director, Patrick Ryan, was charged with seaman's manslaughter and making false statements arising from his failure to enforce the two-pilot rule. Michael J. Gansas, the ferry's captain, was charged with lying to investigators.

John Mauldin, the port captain, was lying to investigators. On August 4, 2004, Smith pleaded guilty to seaman's manslaughter, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison on January 10, 2006. New York's former city ferry director, Patrick Ryan, who had pleaded guilty to seaman's manslaughter, was sentenced to a year and a day; the accident resulted in 191 civil lawsuits against the city, leading to more than $90 million in settlements to victims and their families. Structural repairs cost $6.9 million for $1.4 million for the pier. The crash was at first said by New York City to be an Act of God, with attorneys arguing that the Department of Transportation should not be held responsible for the crash, an argument that disturbed many survivors and New York City residents. City attorneys, citing a 19th-century maritime law, would argue that the total amount of damages sought against the city should not exceed the $14.4 million value of the ferryboat. On February 26, 2007, U. S. District Judge Edward Korman rejected this argument and held that the city could not cap damages, writing: "The city's failure to provide a second pilot or otherwise adopt a reasonable practice that addresses the issue of pilot incapacitation was plainly a substantial factor in causing the disaster."Despite these rulings and a similar, independent federal probation report by officer Tony Garoppolo into the culpability of the ferry service's upper management, in which he viewed "the lion's share of culpability in this case as resting with the high level management of the Ferry Service", no other employees of the New York City Department of Transportation were prosecuted.

On May 8, 2010, the same boat was involved in another crash, due to a mechanical failure. The impact caused 37 injuries, one of, serious. NYC ferry crash kills 10, injures dozens – Washington Times Ferry Pilot Sentenced – Sydney Morning Herald Staten Island Angel Memorial – website dedicated to victims of the accident SI Ferry Crash – FDNewYork.com

Keith Briffa

Keith Raphael Briffa was a climatologist and deputy director of the Climatic Research Unit. He authored or co-authored over 130 scholarly articles and books. In his professional work, he focused on climate variability in the late Holocene, with a special focus on northern portions of Europe and Asia. Briffa's preferred method was dendroclimatology, a set of procedures intended to decode information about the past climate from tree rings. Briffa helped develop data sets from trees from Canada and northern Siberia which have been used in climate research. Briffa grew up in Speke, attended St Francis Xavier's College, Liverpool, he studied biology at the University of East Anglia. He completed his PhD at the University of East Anglia entitled "Tree-climate relationships and dendroclimatological reconstruction in British Isles" in 1984. From 1994 to 2000, Briffa served on the scientific steering committee of the PAGES project. Briffa served as Lead Author on chapter 6 of working group I of the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Briffa served as associate editor of the scholarly journals Holocene and Dendrochronologia. Briffa K. R.. "Reassessing the evidence for tree-growth and inferred temperature change during the Common Era in Yamalia, northwest Siberia". Quaternary Science Reviews. 72: 83–107. Doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.04.008. Briffa K. R.. "Trends in recent temperature and radial tree growth spanning 2000 years across northwest Eurasia". Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 363: 2269–82. Doi:10.1098/rstb.2007.2199. PMC 2606779. PMID 18048299. Osborn T. J. and K. R. Briffa. "The spatial extent of 20th-century warmth in the context of the past 1200 years". Science. 311: 841–4. Bibcode:2006Sci...311..841O. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.590.2928. Doi:10.1126/science.1120514. PMID 16469924. Briffa K. R.. "Unusual twentieth-century summer warmth in a 1,000-year temperature record from Siberia". Nature. 376: 156–9. Bibcode:1995Natur.376..156B. Doi:10.1038/376156a0. Briffa K. R.. "Low-frequency temperature variations from a northern tree ring density network". Journal of Geophysical Research.

106: 2929–2941. Bibcode:2001JGR...106.2929B. Doi:10.1029/2000JD900617. Briffa, K. R.. "Annual climate variability in the Holocene: interpreting the message of ancient trees". Quaternary Science Reviews. 19: 87–105. Bibcode:2000QSRv...19...87B. Doi:10.1016/S0277-379100056-6. Keith Briffa personal web page