Copies of the catalogue are available from the Rare Books Department

Highlights of the Monash University Library
Rare Books Collection


Possession of a significant Rare Book Collection gives an institution a distinctive character. Monash is a young university, having been established in 1961, but from the outset the University Librarian set in place a policy of collecting "rare books". This support has been continued at Monash and we now have one of the best collections in Australia. We are able to offer our patrons access to primary research documents to complement the outstanding range of electronic sources now available through the library.

The emphasis in this exhibition is on the usefulness of the Rare Book Collection as a research tool. We aim to support original research and teaching at the highest level. Our primary clientele is the Monash academic and student community, though the collection is open to use by all.

The items on display range from 18th century manuscripts to private editions of modern poetry. Although our strength is in 17th and 18th century English books, we also have substantial holdings in 19th and 20th century books, especially Australiana. History, literature and art are the main subjects covered, but Monash also has important holdings in the fields of early mathematics and medicine. Among the more unexpected items on display are those relating to Ferdinand von Mueller (nos. 3 and 4); his own extra-illustrated set of Flora Australiensis, and one of the few surviving sets of his Educational Collections of Australian plants.

It has been our practice to hold at least four exhibitions per year. Each of these is accompanied by a detailed catalogue, as well as a "virtual" version on our web-page.

On the screens around the perimeter of this exhibition you will see posters for some of our previous displays, which are not yet on our web page. Catalogues for many of theses are still available. Please enquire at the Rare Books counter, 1st floor, Information Services Building, Main Library, or e-mail:- lorraine.david@lib,monash,edu,au

Richard Overell,
Rare Books Librarian.

Central Display Case

1. Gould, John (1804-1881). The Birds of Australia : in seven volumes / by John Gould. (London : Published by the author, 1848) 7 v. plus Supplement (1869)
View illustration

John Gould had made his reputation with his five volume Birds of Europe, begun in 1832 and completed in 1837. In 1837-38 he published A Synopsis of the Birds of Australia, and, finding this received a positive response, he travelled to Van Diemen's Land with his wife Elizabeth and his assistant, John Gilbert. He and his wife remained in Australia until 1840, visiting New South Wales and South Australia. Gilbert went to Western Australia, and returned to England in 1841. The Birds of Australia began top appear in parts in December 1840, the 36th and final part appearing in December 1848. They were then marketed in seven volumes for £115. A five-part supplement appeared over a period from 1851 to 1869, when it was also issued as a volume. The eight volumes contain 681 hand-coloured plates. Many of these are by Elizabeth Gould, but after her death in 1841, other artists were called upon to complete the work. John Gilbert returned to Australia in 1842 to gather more specimens for Gould. Eventually he joined Leichhardt's expedition to Port Essington, hoping to obtain more ornithological data for Gould. However he was speared by the natives of the Gulf of Carpentaria on 28 June 1845.

The Monash set of Gould's Birds was donated by Jock Marshall. It was used in the early seventies as the basis for the Lansdowne Press facsimile.

Alan McEvey, formerly of the Museum of Victoria, edited the 1979 edition of Gould's single volume preliminary work, The birds of Australia and the adjacent islands, first published in 1837. He has written various articles on Gould's Birds, some of which have appeared in the journal Naturae, published by the Monash Centre for Bibliographical and Textual Studies.

2. Rosser, Celia. (1930- ) The banksias / Celia E. Rosser and Alexander S. George. (London : Academic Press, 1981-<2001>) 3 v.
View illustration

Celia Rosser is the artist in the Botany Department at Monash University. Two volumes of this work have appeared so far, the second in 1988. The intention is to depict and record each Australian banskia. The text is written by the botanist Alexander George. The third and final volume is expected to appear in 1996.

3. Bentham, George (1800-1884) Flora Australiensis: a description of the plants of the Australian territory / by George Bentham, assisted by Ferdinand Mueller, Government Botanist. (London, Lovel, Reeve & Co., 1863-1878) 7 vols. rebound in 19.
View illustration

This set of Flora Australiensis is thought to have belonged to Von Mueller himself. It is inter-leaved with a large number of original sketches and watercolours believed to have been sent to him by his field-workers.

4. Mueller, Ferdinand von (1825-1896) Educational collections of Australian plants, under the auspices of the Victorian government / issued by Baron  Ferd. von Mueller, Government Botanist. (Melbourne, J. Ferres, Govt. Printer, 1873)

This extremely rare set of botanical specimens was gathered together by Baron von Mueller for distribution to schools for their botany lessons. Von Mueller saw such initiatives as part of his responsibility as Government Botanist, and Director of the Botanical Gardens. He saw the Gardens as "mainly scientific and predominantly instructive." A demand that more attention be given to the aesthetic aspects of the Gardens led to his resignation in 1873 and his replacement by William Guilfoyle.

5. Lyssiotis, Peter (1949- ) From the secret life of statues (Melbourne : Masterthief Enterprises, 1994)
View illustration

Peter Lyssiotis is a Melbourne artist who combines his talents as a poet and surrealist photographer to produce very beautiful and emotionally engaging limited edition books. This, like its 1992 predecessor, The Harmed Circle, appeared in an edition of only ten copies.

Peter has lodged his archive in the Monash Rare Book Collection.

The illustration used for the cover and poster for this exhibition was provided by Peter.

6. The Solemn mock procession of the Pope, Cardinalls, Jesuits, Fryers etc. through the Citty of London, November the 17th. 1680. (London : Printed for Nathaniel Ponder, 1680) Wing S4452B. Broadside.
View illustration

This broadside in contemporary hand-colouring forms part of our collection of 17th and 18th century pamphlets. The occasion of this particular work was the Pope-burning procession held in 1680 on the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's accession. The procession formed part of the popular agitation surrounding the events of the "Popish Plot", the supposed threat to Charles II by Roman Catholic agents determined to install his brother James II on the throne. Processions such as this one were orchestrated by the leader of the Whig opposition, the Earl of Shaftesbury. The "floats" were carried to temple Bar where a huge bonfire took place. The climax to proceedings took place where the effigy of the Pope was cast upon the blaze. The spectacular effect owed much to the fact that the Pope was stuffed with live cats.

7. Batak books
View illustration

These probably date from the late 19th or early 20th century. The Batak people inhabit the mountainous region of Sumatra around Lake Toba. Their reputation for cannibalism and sorcery ensured their comparative isolation.

The books are made of folded strips of bark. The written characters derive from Sanscrit, indicating early contact with Hindu-Buddhist culture. The texts are usually divinations, prophecies, curses or spells.

These particular volumes were formerly in the collection of a Monash academic, Cyril Skinner. Monash University has from its establishment in 1961 maintained a strong interest in the study of South-East Asia, particular Indonesia.

Sloping Cases

8. Swift, Jonathan (1667-1745)

            Autograph letter, signed to Rev. William Diaper, dated April 30, 1713.

            Autograph letter, unsigned. To Charles Ford, dated 7 June 1713.

            Autograph letter, signed, to the Rev. Henry Jenney, dated 8 June 1732.

            Autograph letter, signed, to Frances Kelly, dated 4 May 1733.
View illustration

When Monash University began in 1961, the University Librarian authorised the purchase of a collection of material by or about Jonathan Swift, gathered together by the Swift scholar David Woolley. This has formed the nucleus of the early books held in the Monash Rare Books Collection, the main strength of which centres on the period from 1660 to 1750.

On display we see some of our Swift manuscript material. These have been used as the basis for articles by Prof. Clive Probyn of the English Department, and published in David Woolley's edition of Swift's correspondence.

9. Shaftesbury, Anthony Cooper, 3rd Earl. (11671-1713) "Letters of the Third Earl of Shaftesbury, upon Horace and other matters philosophical." [manuscript] [c1730s to c1760s]
View illustration

James Harris (1709-1780), philologist and author of Hermes, or a philosophical inquiry concerning universal grammar (1751) copied selected letters and papers of his uncle Anthony Cooper, third Earl of Shaftesbury into this vellum-bound manuscript volume. Many of the items are unpublished. These include instructions relating to the second edition of Shaftesbury's Characteristicks, of particular interest to Dr. Philip Ayres of the English Department who is preparing a new edition of this work. The volume is open at "the fable of the wise puppy", recently published (1991) for the first time, by the first time, by the Ancora Press, a hand press operated by Dr. Brian McMullin of the Graduate of Librarianship here at Monash [Dr. McMullin is now in the Centre for the Book, at Monash]

Apart from the Shaftesbury items, the book contains copies of letters from Sir Isaac Newton to Dr. Bentley; and correspondence between the Earl of Sunderland and Dr. Fell, Dean of Christ Church College, Oxford, concerning the expulsion of John Locke from the college in 1684.

10. De la Transformation Metallique [18th century French manuscript volume]
View illustration

This volume contains three alchemical works, by La Fontaine, Jean de Meung, and N. Flamel. Long after the invention of printing in the middle of the 15th century, manuscript copies were still being made of texts which were difficult to obtain, or were too subversive or salacious to be granted licenses to print. Alchemical works were often exceedingly rare and were jealously guarded. The owner of this volume has heavily annotated the margins of the three hermetic texts.

11. [Robinson, John, attributed] [Architectural sketches of Italy, August 1852 - August 1853] 89 original drawings and watercolour sketches, most on sketchbook paper 290 x 220 mm. Mounted in an album. 76 drawings are in pencil, pen or wash, and 13 are watercolours.
View illustration

This album of architectural drawings was the work of an architect travelling on the continent in 1852-53. His itinerary can be traced by captions and dates on the drawings. Some of the sketches are signed with a monogram of the initials J. R. This is thought to refer to John Robinson. He was a partner of and successor to Sir James Pennethorne, head of the architectural firm which had the responsibility for the design, alteration and maintenance of royal and government buildings in London.

The watercolour on view shows the Colosseum. It is dated "March/53".

Flat Case 1

12. [Restoration plays]

The Monash Rare Book Collection holds a substantial number of Restoration and 18th century plays. This reflects the interest at Monash in the teaching and editing of this material. The plays were originally published in pamphlet form, and were often bound up in volumes by contemporary collectors.

On display we have some bound volumes of such plays, open at works of particular relevance to research at Monash. The Rehearsal, by the Duke of Buckingham (1673) is being used by Dr. Harold Love of the English Department in preparing his edition of Buckingham's Works; The Fate of Capua, by Thomas Southerne (1700) was of use to him in his edition of Southerne's Works. John Crowne's The English Frier (1690) was included by Dr. Brian McMullin in his edition of The Comedies of John Crowne; he is also compiling a bibliography of Crowne's works [published in 2001]

Among the other plays in these volumes are some by women dramatists of the Restoration period, including Aphra Behn, Mrs. Centlivre and Mary Pix. One of the volumes is open at The Double Distress. A Tragedy / written by Mrs. M. Pix, (1701)

Flat Case 2

13. [Children's literature]

Our most generous benefactor is Lindsay Shaw, formerly of the Education Faculty at Monash. Over a number of years Lindsay has been donating Australian children's books, and we now have a very substantial collection. We also acquire English children's books.

On display are some late 18th century, early 19th century items, The History of Little Fanny (1810), one of a series of books featuring a cut-out doll which a child could dress in various costumes; some chapbooks, The Gamester, London Cries, Sunshiny Frank, Little Alice, Married at Last, and Natural History.

The Gamester is the oldest in this group, published in 1795. It tells of Mr. Trickit, a tiler who was addicted to gambling. This eventually leads him to commit robbery with violence. He is caught, convicted, and sent to Botany Bay. The tract has been recently used by Robert Holden, one of the leading authorities on Australian children's literature in his work on the effect of "transportation" on convicts and their families [published in 2000 as Orphans of history : the forgotten children of the First Fleet]

London Cries is open at a wood-cut of men selling the London Gazette. Chapbooks were sold by "chapmen" in much the same way. The Religious Tract Society and other similar religious groups exploited the demand for cheap reading matter to improve the behaviour of children, and to help them cope with the ever-present fact of infant mortality. Little Alice begins:

My dear little children.

I want to tell you something about a sweet little girl whose name was Alice. She went to live with Jesus Christ when she was seven years and nine months old.

Married at Last is an American chapbook. The story is punctuated with testimonials for Piso's Cure for Consumption, and Piso's Remedy for Catarrh. It begins:

A leading soprano on a city choir, when ready for church, said to her friend: "I must take a dose of Piso's Cure for consumption before I go. It is the only thing I can find that will prevent me from taking cold and getting hoarse. If possible I always take some before singing, as there is nothing like it for strengthening and toning the voice. Many of our best vocalists use and recommend it."

Natural History is interesting as an example of hand-colouring. Many of the chap-books were sold as "penny plain, twopence coloured." It is also important because of the imprint, "London: T. Goode ... Also S. Goode, Melbourne, Port Phillip", which presumably places it in Melbourne in the 1840s.

The Australian children's books on display consist of half a dozen Ethel Turner and Mary Grant Bruce novels in their period dust-wrappers. These were among those in the Lindsay Shaw Collection used by Dr. Brenda Niall of the Monash University English Department when writing Seven Little Billabongs, her account of these two authors.

Flat case 3


14. Hodges, William (1744-1797) Travels in India, during the years 1780, 1781, 1782, & 1783 (London, J. Edwards, 1793)
View illustration

15. Carr, John (1772-1832) The stranger in France, or, A tour from Devonshire to Paris ; illustrated by engravings in aqua tinta of sketches taken on the spot. (London, J. Johnson, 1803)
View illustration

Early travel accounts are collected to support subjects taught particularly in the History Department, such as "Travellers' tales from the east", and "The making of modern Paris."

William Hodges was the artist on Cook's second voyage (1772-75). He visited India in 1778 and stayed under the patronage of Warren Hastings until 1784. While there he executed many landscape views. The illustration shown here, "procession of a Hindoo woman to the funeral pile of her husband", accompanies an account of th4e Indian custom of "suttee" which Hodges had witnessed.

Sir John Carr was one of the first travellers to visit France when it re-opened its borders after the Peace of Amiens in 1802. Like many of his compatriots he was curious to see what changes had been wrought by the Revolution. He visited Versailles where he commented on the decay of the park and the buildings. The Petit Trianon had been "let out by the government to a restauranteur". Carr dined "in the former little bed room of the queen, where like the Idalian goddess, she used to sleep in a suspended basket of roses." (p. 184)

The illustration shows, "Bagatelle in the Bois de Boulogne". Carr explains that "Bagatelle was formerly the elegant little palace of the Count d'Artois", but that it too had leased out as a restaurant to "tenants of the government, who treat their visitors with good dinners and excellent wine, and take good care to make them pay handsomely for their faultless fare." (p. 203)

Flat Case 4


16. Raffles, Sir Thomas Stamford (1781-1826) The history of Java (London, Murray, 1817) 2 vols.

17. Raffles, Sir Thomas Stamford (1781-1826) Antiquarian, architectural, and landscape illustrations of the History of Java by the late Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles ; with a large map of Java and its dependencies (London, Bohn, 1844)

As noted above (see item 6), Monash University has since its inception had a strong interest in the history of the East Indies, both in the History Department and the centre for South East Asian Studies.

Raffles was the Governor of Java during the British occupation from 1811 to 1815, when the island was restored to the Dutch. He took the opportunity of his residence in Java to familiarise himself thoroughly with the Javanese, their customs and beliefs.

The hand-coloured illustrations shown here are of " A Javan in the war dress" and "A Ronggeng or dancing girl."

In addition to material on South-east Asia, we hold in the rare Book Collection a great deal of 17th and 18th century material on British history and 19th century Australiana.

Flat Case 5


18. Schott, P. Gaspare (1605-1666) Mechanica hydraulico-pneumatica (Herbipoli [i.e. Wurzberg], Henricus Pigrin, 1657)
View illustration

19. Newton, Sir Isaac (1642-1727) The mathematical principles of natural philosophy / by Sir I. Newton ; translated into English by A. Motte ; to which are added, The Laws of the moon's motion according to gravity, by J. Machin. (London, Benjamin Motte, 1729) 2 vols.
View illustration

20 Algarotti, Francesco (1712-1764) Sir Isaac Newton's philosophy explain'd for the use of the ladies : in six dialogues on light and colours / from the Italian of Sig. Algarotti (London, E. cave, 1739) 2 vols.

The Monash University Department of Mathematics maintains a strong commitment to teaching and research in the history of Mathematics. In 1992 the university published a bibliography of the library holdings in the area. This included much original material in early editions.

Gaspare Schott was a Jesuit who wrote extensively on mathematics and the physical sciences. The book on display is a copiously illustrated work on the laws of hydraulics.

Newton's Principia Mathematica was first published in 1687. It was of course in Latin, the language of scientific discourse at the time. Andrew Motte's translation was the first into English. Motte was a lecturer in Geometry art Gresham College.

Algarotti's work is an adaptation of Newton's Opticks.

Small Upright Case


21 Microscope

22. Pharmocopeia

23 Selecta e praescriptis; or Selections from physicians prescriptions. 7th ed. (London, S. Highley, 1837)

These items are from the Australian Medical Associations rare Book Collection which is now on permanent loan to the Monash Library.

The microscope and the pharmocopeia both date from the late 19th century. The microscope was manufactured by the German firm of Carl Zeiss of Jena.

24. Prescription books 72 vols. (1902-1985) [selection on display]

These are from the pharmacy formerly at 289 Bridge Road, Richmond, on the corner of Bridge Road and Church Street, which closed in 1990. They are part of a major gift of medical books being presented to the rare Book Collection by Dr. Richard Travers, a graduate of Monash.

Wall Case 1


25. Digby, Sir Kenelme (1603-1665) The closet of the eminently learned Sir Kenelme Digby opened : whereby is discovered several ways for making of metheglin, syder, cherry-wine, &c. Together with excellent directions for cookery : as also for preserving, conserving, candying, &c. Published by his son's consent.
The third edition corrected. (London, H. Brome, 1677)

26. Nott, John. The cooks and confectioners dictionary, or, The accomplish'd housewives companion ... 3rd ed. with additions / revised and recommended by John Nott. (London, Charles Rivington, 1726)
View illustration

 27. Bailey, Nathan (d. 1742) Dictionarium domesticum : being a new and compleat houshold dictionary for the use both of city and country. (London, C. Hitch, C. Davis, and S. Austen, 1736)
View illustration

28. Lemery, Louis (1677-1743) Traité des alimens : ou l'on trouve la différence & le choix, qu'on en doit faire, les bons & les mauvais effets, qu'ils peuvent produire, leurs principes, les circonstances où ils conviennent. 3rd ed. (Paris, Durand, 1755) 2 vols.

29. [Menon,  ] La cuisiniere bourgeoise : suivie de l'office, a l'usage de tous ceux qui se mélent de dépense de maisons. Nouvelle ed. (Bruxelles : Chez François Foppens, 1779)

30. Glasse, Hannah (1708-1770) The art of cookery, made plain and easy : which far exceeds any thing of the kind yet published : in which are included, one hundred and fifty new and useful receipts, not inserted in any former edition. New ed. (London, Longman [et al], 1796)

31. Soyer, Alexis (1809-1859) The modern housewife or ménagère : comprising nearly one thousand receipts for the economic and judicious preparation of every meal of the day, and those for the nursery and sick room ; with minute directions for family management in all its branches (London, Simpkin, Marshall, 1850)
View illustration

32. Beeton Isabella (1836-1865) The book of household management ... also sanitary, medical and legal memoranda. With a history of the origin, properties and uses of all things connected with home life and comfort. New ed. (London, Ward, Lock, 1888)

33. The Kookaburra cookery book of culinary and household recipes and hints / collected and arranged by the Committee of the Lady Victoria Buxton Girls' Club, Adelaide, South Australia. 2nd ed. (Melbourne : W.A. Comeadow Printers, [1929?])
View illustration

34. Michell, Alexandra (1940- ) Recipes from old French kitchens : a collection of recipes from the old French masters of cuisine, dating from the fourteenth century / adapted by Alexandra Michell (Melbourne, National Press, 1982)
View illustration

We hold an extensive range of cookery and household management books. The nucleus of this collection was donated to us by Alexandra Michell in 1987. Alexandra is a restaurateur who completed her Doctorate in the History Department at Monash in 1998 on The Paris food industry, 1715-1815. She has continued her generous donations to the Rare Book Collection.

Wall Case 2


35. Kendall, Henry (1839-1882) Songs from the mountains (Sydney, William Maddock, 1880)
View illustration

36. Blitz, Mrs. A. An Australian millionaire : a novel (London, Ward., Lock, 1894)
View illustration

37. Carey, Peter (1943- ) Oscar and Lucinda (New York, Harper and Row, 1988)
View illustration

38. Fitzgerald, Robert D. (1902-1987) Heemskerck Shoals / written by Robert D. FitzGerald ; and decorated by a map and fifteen designs after drawings done by Geoffrey C. Ingleton. (Fern Tree Gully Lower, Vic. : Mountainside Press, 1949)

The Monash Rare Book Collection has a good collection of Australiana. The University has always had a strong teaching and research emphasis on Australian history and literature. This is now even more prominent with the presence at Monash of the National Centre for Australian Studies.

The Kendall volume is a copy of the rare issue of Songs from the mountains, containing the poem, "The song of Ninian Melville." This was a satire on a contemporary politician and caused the original edition of the book to be withdrawn soon after publication.

Michael Ackland of the English Department has recently published a biography of Kendall.

A previous Monash Rare Books exhibition, "Literary Links", contained novels by the best-known early Australian women novelists, Ada Cambridge, Tasma and Rosa Praed. On display here we see an example of a work by one of the other successful woman writers in 19th century Australia, Mrs. Blitz. An Australian millionaire first appeared in 1893 as a "three-decker", a novel in three volumes. It then appeared in the one volume English edition seen here, and was also published by Dymock's in Sydney and E. W. Cole in Melbourne.

The text of Oscar and Lucinda was altered to "American usage" for the U.S. edition. Peter Carey objected to this and also to the inclusion of a chapter he wished to omit. The publishers acceded to his wishes and agreed to withdraw all unsold copies of the first American edition. The copy of the novel on display is one which escaped this round-up. In addition to this it is inscribed by the author, "it is the first American printing, 20,000 of which had to be pulped - a rare book!" We also have other early states of the novel, including a proof copy.

Peter Carey was one of the first students enrolled at Monash in the early sixties.

Heemskerck Shoals is one of the rarest and most desirable pieces of Australiana. This particular copy was the printer, John Kirtley's, own copy, and was presented to Monash by his widow, Janet Kirtley, in memory of their nephew Robert Robins Rich, jnr.

The senior Research Fellow of the National Centre for Australian Studies, John Arnold, has devoted many years to the study of the Lindsays and John Kirtley, particularly to their printing enterprises. We hold a good collection of Fanfrolico Press publications, in many of which Jack and Norman Lindsay, and John Kirtley were involved, but Kirtley felt his greatest achievement was Heemskerck Shoals which appeared under his own imprint, Mountainside Press.

Wall Case 3

 Modern Literature

39. The floating admiral / by certain members of The Detection Club (London, Hodder and Stoughton, [1931])
View illustration

We hold some interesting examples of detective fiction. The Floating Island is a composite book, each chapter being contributed by a prominent detective novelist. These included Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. Also in the Monash collection, although not on display, is an Australian detective novel published to this formula, in 1936, Murder Pie.

40. Graves, Robert (1895-1985) To whom else? / by Robert Graves. (Deya, Majorca, Seizin Press, 1931)
View illustration

During the thirties Robert Graves lived on Majorca with the poet Laura Riding. They combined to publish their own works on a hand-press, naming it the Seizin Press.

41. Fantastic Adventures (New York, Ziff-Davis Publishing Co., 1939-1953)

We hold an extensive collection of early science-fiction magazines. The issue on display, March 1952, has a cover illustration showing Stalin accompanied by a Martian. The headline reads, "Flying saucers: Russia's secret weapon."

42. Kerouac, Jack (1922-1969) On the road (London : A. Deutsch, 1958)
View illustration

43. Corso, Gregory. The mutation of the spirit : a shuffle poem (New York : Death Press, 1964)

Corso and Kerouac were major figures in the "Beat movement". Corso's poem is printed on individual sheets of paper, each signed by the author. The reader is meant to shuffle the pages and re-shape the poem according to his whim.

44. Ashbery, John. Fragment: poem / by John Ashbery ; illustrated by Alex Katz. (Los Angeles : Black Sparrow Press, 1969)
View illustration

Ashbery, the best known writer of the "New York school", is perhaps the most influential of modern American poets. Australian poets such as John Tranter and John Forbes show definite traces of Ashbery's style.

45. Mann, Chris. Da-dum (Melbourne, 1985)
View illustration

46. Cowen, Ruth. Real Estates of the Heart (Canberra, Graphic Investigation Workshop, 1991)

47. Hopkins, Ted. Teledex (Prahran, Backyard Press, 1980)

48. Tipping, Richard (1949- ) [Postcards and graphics]

These are Australian examples of modern poetry published in various avant-garde forms. Da-dum consists of a box with poetry on it, containing a glass, a napkin and a match-book, all with poetry on them.

Ruth Cowen's work includes a broken mirror on which a poem is printed. Presumably the concept is that readers can look at reflections of themselves and their surroundings as they piece together the poem.

The Teledex is a real metal teledex containing a poem for each letter of the alphabet.

Richard Tipping, who rose to prominence in the early 1970s as one of the poets published in the University of Queensland Press paperback poets series, is now more closely identified with the concrete poets. His Sydney Morning Herald in four volumes was included in our recent "Literary Links" exhibition. Here we see some of his jeux d'esprits, such as "AIRPOET", and the plaque for your front door which reads, "Dadaists and Surrealists NOT ADMITTED."


| Rare Books | Previous Exhibitions | Monash University Library |