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Rare books and special collections: Introduction

The University's Rare Book and Special Collections contain over 32,000 volumes. Most of the items have been acquired by donation or purchased from bequest funds. Strengths of the collections include early modern or pre-1800 material, 19th-century Australian literature and poetry and19th-century Australian History.

Rare books are searchable through the library catalogue.

Collection highlights include:

  • The Reta Light Australian Poetry Collection
  • The largest James Joyce collection held in any Australian Institution
  • Books printed by private presses including the Kelmscott Press, the Nonesuch Press, the Golden Cockerill and the Fanfrolico
  • Limited edition facsimiles such as William Bligh's Log of the HMS Bounty and the Log of the HMS Providence 1791-1793
  • First editions of father of Australian viticulture James Busby's A Treatise on the Culture of the Vine, and the Art of Making Wine and A Manual of Plain Directions for Planting and Cultivating Vineyards, and for Making Wine in New South Wales

To learn more about our Rare Books and Special Collections, please visit the Collection Summaries page.