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Margaret Ingham

Margaret Ingham (1910–1999) established the Children's Literature Research Collection at the Library.

Margaret had a lifelong love of literature and libraries. She first took on the duties of a librarian while she was still a student, and worked as both an English literature teacher and a librarian.

By 1966, Margaret oversaw children's library services in public libraries across Victoria. Convinced of the importance of children's literature and literacy, she worked tirelessly to improve services to children, which at this time were often undervalued.

Margaret searched through hundreds of thousands of books and chose 2000 to form the basis of the State Library of Victoria's Children's Literature Research Collection. She then donated around 200 rare books from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, which she had gathered while travelling.

By the time Margaret retired in 1980, the Children's Literature Research Collection was the largest of its kind in Australia.

Margaret Ingham is also remembered as a survivor of the SS City of Cairo. This passenger ship was torpedoed in 1942, taking the life of Margaret's first husband. Margaret spent 52 days afloat on a small lifeboat, and of the 17 people on board, Margaret and just one other person survived. Margaret was awarded the British Empire Medal for her 'exceptional qualities of fortitude and endurance'.

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