Rare Books

The rare books within the Special Collection consist of over 15,000 volumes in the following categories:

  • Early Australian imprints
  • Early overseas imprints
  • Limited editions
  • Association copies
  • Other categories, such as fine printings or bindings, significant first editions and other items that are known to be rare or valuable

The collection includes folio-sized volumes which are identified differently. Collection strengths include books on architecture, missionaries of the Pacific, Papua New Guinea, 19th century travel, natural history, scientific expeditions, domestic science, nutrition, cookery and women in the home. This collection may be consulted in the reading room of the Alfred Deakin Prime Ministerial Library, Sally Walker Building, Geelong Waterfront Campus.

Identifying material in the catalogue

Rare books and folios held in the Special Collection are listed in the Library Catalogue. They have the prefix:


Research Projects

The material in this collection provides a resource for research in:

  • Australian history
  • Victorian history
  • 19th century Australian and overseas architecture
  • Missionaries of the Pacific
  • Papua New Guinea historical research
  • Women in the home
  • Nutrition and domestic literature
  • Natural history