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Rare Books Exhibition

Recent Acquisitions

13 December 2001 - 6 May 2002

The exhibition, opened by Professor Clive Probyn of the English Department at the Rare Books Christmas party, highlights recent acquisitions by the Rare Book Collection.

Looking at this exhibition is a good way to gain an idea of the breadth of our collection.

There are examples of 17th and 18th century works as well as publications from the 19th and 20th centuries. Among the items on display we find artist's books, one in the form of a box of cakes, another presented like a box of chocolates. There are also manuscripts, including two hand-made children's books produced in Melbourne in the 1940s. Some Australian classics are featured, for example, a first edition of The Magic Pudding. There are pamphlets from the Spanish Civil War; a booklet from 1932 to women drivers, Let's drive better than men; a work by E. W. Cole of the Book Arcade attacking the fashion for corsets, Advice of a hundred doctors on tight-lacing.

Susan Peacock appearing in her tennis outfit on the cover of the 
Women's Weekly of 1 January 1975.

Perhaps the most attractive and interesting part of the exhibition is to be found in the cases in the corridor outside the Rare Books Reading Room. There we find examples of magazines such as Saturday Evening Post from the 1950s and early 1960s, the Australian Women's Weekly, and Women's Day.

One of the themes picked up in the women's magazines is the career of Susan Peacock, now Susan Renouf. She is here seen in a fashion spread featuring her wardrobe in 1969. Then we have the notorious Sheridan sheets advertisement in November 1970, and finally Susan in her tennis outfit, is on the cover of a Women's Weekly in 1975, to promote a match on centre court at Kooyong between herself and Bobby Riggs.

Richard Overell, Rare Books Librarian.

Virtual Exhibition.  You may also read the text of the catalogue online.

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

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