The Gibbs Collection of Medals, Robes and Regalia
The Supreme Court Library is proud to display its collection of medals, robes and regalia in the aptly named Sir Harry Gibbs Legal Heritage Centre.
The collection, donated by Lady Gibbs, includes the medal of the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George, the medal of the order of Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire and the medal of the Companion of the Order of Australia which were awarded to Sir Harry in the course of his legal career.
Also exhibited are Sir Harry’s letters patent and armorial banner, as well as a mantle in blue silk bearing the insignia of the Knights Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George and a suit worn by justices in the early years of the High Court of Australia.
The public display of these medals, robes and regalia will, it is hoped, inform and inspire a new generation of young Australians.
This display also commemorates Sir Harry’s close association with the Supreme Court Library, whose Committee he chaired between 1963 and 1967. When the Supreme Court History Program was established with the opening of the Rare Books room in the year 2000, Sir Harry himself delivered the inaugural oration.
The Library holds in trust many other objects and papers associated with Sir Harry, including three oral history interviews, a Bench wig, a Bar wig and various personal and official documents. In this way, the Library seeks to preserve the legacy of a remarkable Australian.
Joan Priest Biography
A collection of documents relating to the writing of her biography of Sir Harry Gibbs, Without Fear or Favour, was donated to the Library by Mrs Joan Priest. The documents include correspondence, newspaper clippings, interviews, speeches and drafts, and are preserved in forty folders within three solander boxes.