Australian Pictorial Social Studies

This term we’re studying Australian explorers,  specifically our Inland explorers.  When gathering  resources I recalled this set of books with great fondness.  The series is titled ‘Pictorial Social Studies’  with a little logo labelled  ‘Australian Visual Education’.

Published in 1958, with 55 books in the set, covering not only Australian history but social studies worldwide.  My favourite however are the Australian history books, covering the Settlement and expansion, exploration, Gold and more.

Written in comic form they are chock full of information without overloading and the visual presentation totally engages the children, ‘whetting the appetite’ for more information. Australian history buffs, I suggest you check out ebay and gumtree.

One reason I know they are totally effective in imparting knowledge is, I’ve used these series before.
Recently my brothers B(30) & K(28) were discussing a visit to the Blue Mountains which that had undertaken with overseas visitors, they had regaled the group with factual information about Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth’s incredible feat crossing the Blue Mountains. The group listened spellbound as they bombarded them with historical detail, the visitors much impressed asked how they knew so much? A question I was keen to have answered myself when the story was recounted to me. Brother B reminded me, “You taught me”
“I did?”
“Remember that comic book you read to us?”  Well yes but the boys were all of 6 & 8 then.  Amazing that they both remembered over two decades later!!

Inside of each cover is a map.  Without further ado, displaying the contents below, as I’m certain my friends Jeanne and Angela, amongst others are eager to see:)

20 thoughts on “Australian Pictorial Social Studies

  • February 24, 2013 at 7:28 am
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    wow thanks for sharing Erin those look great 🙂 Any chance we could borrow them one day ? 🙂

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  • February 24, 2013 at 11:53 am
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    I remember them too! I haven't seen them since my own school days though.

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  • February 25, 2013 at 12:58 am
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    We have the full set of these, too – I just found them last week as I unpacked some more boxes! They're great, aren't they?

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  • February 25, 2013 at 9:52 pm
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    Those books look great, Erin! I just love pictures of old literary treasures.

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  • February 26, 2013 at 3:10 am
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    I did a search for these recently after you mentioned them on my blog. They look fascinating. I've been looking out for them irl, but haven't found any yet. Thanks for sharing!

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  • February 28, 2013 at 10:43 pm
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    Chareen
    more than happy to post to you, just ask when ready.

    Ruby
    I was pleasantly surprised to see some on ebay and gumtree.

    Linda
    Does this mean you have book shelves now?:)

    Willa
    I've enjoyed looking at old treasures you've posted lately too:)

    Jeanne
    I'm happy to post to you too if you want to borrow:)

    Ingi
    Let me know if you're successful:)

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  • September 25, 2013 at 12:06 am
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    Sean
    Um I'm Erin, sorry, not willing to sell but I'd love for you to be able to look at them somehow, I notice you are in Japan, you may be able to find copies online 2nd hand. Were you thinking of doing more modern versions?

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  • September 25, 2013 at 5:42 pm
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    Thanks Erin.
    Our comic book, FIGHT THE POWER!, has one section about the Australian workers general strike and protests of 1917. The old books had a chapter about the Eureka rebellion of the 1840's i think. So i came across them that way. i often do hisorical and social issue books.

    Would certainly like to see more of these. Yes, im Japan, though Im a Scot.

    Sean

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    • April 5, 2019 at 7:24 am
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      Sean
      You’re an author! Never any shortage of material with history and social issues.

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  • September 24, 2015 at 12:38 pm
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    My husband and I are visiting his parents in Bundaberg. My MIL took me out to the back shed to go through some boxes of books, amongst which are:

    Pictorial Social Studies folders with booklet inside, condition fair to good (though all need clean up), published Australian Visual Education, series numbered 1-25, but with no copyright date, have 20 of these 25, and series unnumbered with copyright 1960, have 30 of these.

    Have seen them for sale on eBay for $13 each (!!!) but we'd be happy with $5 each. If anyone wants them, please let me know ASAP 🙂

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    • April 5, 2019 at 7:22 am
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      Karelia
      Well I’m waayy late in responding. What a find, do hope you found good homes for the books

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  • November 20, 2017 at 8:48 pm
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    I am looking at my set now which my parents gave me in 1958 ,and still sometimes browse through them .
    The sure beat looking at a computer .
    These books were the reason I received an A in History in what was called our Junior Exam (grade 10 )

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    • April 5, 2019 at 7:26 am
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      Kerod
      Your experience highlights the influence books play in our lives. How wonderful that you still have your set!

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  • March 24, 2019 at 10:02 pm
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    Hi there.
    These books were published by my father Peter Leyden in 1956-59 and I am writing a memoir of him so pleased to hear they are still liked! He sold the rights to them in 1959 as he ran out of money to reprint them! Let me know what titles you have in case you have some I do not have in my archives
    Ashleigh Gallagher nee Leyden

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    • April 3, 2019 at 6:25 pm
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      Wow! You should feel so proud of your father. I remember when the first of these books arrived at our primary school in 1958. They were such a refreshing change from traditional textbooks and we kids loved them, especially the one on bushrangers.
      But when I look at them afresh today, I can see your father had an intense love of Australia and optimism for its future. He also had a deep appreciation of the part our history plays in the way we look on ourselves as a nation today. He wanted to pass all these on to the upcoming generations. He was a very generous man with a strong sense of responsibility to other people.

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      • April 5, 2019 at 7:34 am
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        Keith
        Imagining what a moment that would have been, seeing the books for the first time, something so different to previously.
        Yes Peter Leyden’s love and knowledge of Australia is clear. Greatly appreciate them.
        My favourite is actually the Overland Telegraph, an incredible feat

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    • April 5, 2019 at 7:29 am
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      Ashleigh
      Honoured you dropped in! Yes your Father’s work is indeed still appreciated and enjoyed. In fact my 10 and 12 year old boys are currently reading some of them at present as we are focusing on Australian history atm.
      So sad to hear he sold his rights!
      How sweet of you, I’ll have a look and let you know, though I think I have them all, in fact I have a second set stored away to share with my children when they set up house in the future.

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    • April 26, 2019 at 8:33 am
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      Hi Ashleigh,
      Do you know who he sold the rights to? I’d love to look into making them available for people again.
      Anthony (Living Book Press)

      Reply

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