|To understand our past we must be aware of it. The
Australiana section of the Monash Rare Book Collection allows
researchers to approach more closely to the experience of our ancestors.
We find there the accounts of the early discoverers, settlers and
explorers. The conditions under which they lived and their response to
Australia's native inhabitants can be understood much better if we read
what they wrote.
The gold rushes, the traveller's accounts, the
preoccupations of our forebears, such as the affair of the Tichborne
Claimant, all take on an added dimension when we are able to re-live
them in detail through the study of the contemporary texts.
We have on display most of the landmark Australiana volumes:
Dampier's account, Captain Cook's three voyages, the First Fleet
Journals, the key exploration accounts, as well as such natural history
classics as Gould's Birds of Australia, Von Mueller's own
specially illustrated set of Flora Australiensis, and a set of
his educational specimens of Australian plants.
We have a fine collection of Australian material and all are
encouraged to use it.
Rare Books Librarian.