Melbourne Rare Book Week Events of Interest

Full program here:

“Curator’s tour of Medieval Books Great and Small: the Clumber Bible exhibition”, Susan Thomas

Date: Monday 3 July, 2017; and Saturday 8 July, 2017.
Time: 3 July: 12:30pm – 1:15pm; 8 July: 11:30am – 12:15pm
Venue: Dulcie Hollyock Room, Ground floor, Baillieu Library
Bookings: 3 July:
8 July:

Be transported back to the 14th century by immersing yourself in the world of medieval books on this curator-guided meander through the Medieval Books Great and Small: the Clumber Bible exhibition.

Be astonished by the beauty, diversity and size of medieval texts – from the monumental and lavishly illuminated 23kg Clumber Bible (measuring almost 90cm across when open), to the exquisitely diminutive Sarum Breviary (10cm high). Do not miss this opportunity to get close to these splendid vestiges from an earlier time with Baillieu Library Rare Books Curator, Susan Thomas, who will provide short introductions to each object and be happy to answer your questions.

“Literature for everyman”, Stephen Herrin

Date: Monday 3 July, 2017.
Time: 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Venue: Monash University Law Chambers

From the middle of the 17th century literature began appearing in more affordable forms, such as tracts, chapbooks, yellowbacks, and penny novels. The literary genres of these books were wide ranging and for both adults and children. There were fairy tales, heroic tales, political subjects, ghost stories, travel and adventure. Gradually these began to gravitate to the more sensational, like the penny dreadfuls. Stephen Herrin will present many examples of these ephemeral literature from the collections of Monash University Rare Books.

“The Kerry Stokes Collection of Medieval Manuscripts,” Professor Emeritus Margaret Manion and Erica Persak

Date: Monday 3 July, 2017.
Time: 5:00pm – 6:15pm
Venue: The Oratory, Newman College

Be captivated as Professor Emeritus Margaret Manion discusses this recently acquired 14th-century French Bible, and Erica Persak describes some of the wonderful medieval manuscripts in the Kerry Stokes Collection.

A Clumber Bible lunchtime double-bill:
“The Duke of Newcastle and the Clumber legacy, &; Early English Illustrated Biblical Cycles”, Shane Carmody and Professor Bernard Muir

Date: Tuesday 4 July, 2017.
Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Venue: Graduate Room, 1st floor, Baillieu Library

Do not miss two fascinating lunchtime talks presented in association with Medieval Books Great and Small: the Clumber Bible exhibition.

The Duke of Newcastle and the Clumber Legacy

Let Shane Carmody delight you with the enthralling story of the Dukes of Newcastle and the family seat Clumber House, Nottinghamshire. Not least, learn about the family`s book collecting interests and how they came to own an enormous 23kg medieval Bible!

Early English Illustrated Biblical Cycles

Professor Bernard Muir will captivate you with his commentary on a selection of early English biblical texts, explaining the meaning of the often beautiful iconography and other decorative schemas.

“The John Emmerson Collection”, Richard Overell & Des Cowley

Date: Thursday 6 July, 2017.
Time: 11:00am – 11:45am and 6:00pm – 6:45pm
Venue: State Library Victoria
Bookings: Email:

Nicholas Barker, editor of The Book Collector, described the late John Emmerson as “one of the great book collectors of our time”. In 2015, the John Emmerson collection, comprising over 5,000 early English books, with a particular emphasis on the English Civil War, was donated to the State Library Victoria. This session will look at some of the highlights from the Emmerson Collection.

Richard Overell was until the end of 2014 the Rare Books Librarian at Monash University Library. He now works at State Library Victoria helping to catalogue the John Emmerson Collection.

Des Cowley is the History of the Book manager at State Library Victoria. He is co-curator of the Library’s ongoing exhibition Mirror of the World: Books & Ideas and co-author of The World of the Book (Melbourne University Press, 2007).