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Rare Books Exhibition

Early Images of the Australian Aborigines

14 October - 29 November 1993

Included in this exhibition are images drawn from the early discovery and exploration accounts. We see the aborigines through the eyes of Sydney Parkinson, the artist on Cook's first voyage, and even the poet and engraver William Blake, who worked on the plates for Governor Hunter's account of the early settlement at Sydney.

All visitors to Australia mentioned the aborigines. Some studied them quite closely and to them we owe the information about their customs and languages which would otherwise have been lost. Among this material is a unique item, an exercise book containing a series of manuscript responses to a questionnaire circulated among the South Australian aborigines in 1892, giving extensive details of the customs and languages of the local tribes. The Monash Rare Book Collection holds an extensive range of early materials essential for the study of the Australian aborigines, and the responses of the early settlers with whom they came in contact.

You may also read the text of the catalogue online.

Virtual Exhibition

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>> Exhibition catalogues are available, free of charge, from the Rare Books information desk

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