Rare Books at the University of Melbourne holds a significant collection of books, journals and ephemera, about 250,000 items. Strengths of the collection include printing history, Greek and Roman classics, private presses, English literature, social and political thought, children’s books, Australiana and book arts.
These items are housed in special conditions by reason of their age, value or uniqueness in order to ensure their care and preservation for current and future generations of scholars and researchers.
Some significant works held are Piranesi, Collection of folio works, 1761-1807; Colonna, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, 1499; Mr William Shakespeares comedies, histories and tragedies (Second folio) 1632; John Gould, The birds of Australia, 1848 and the Mammals of Australia 1863; Latin Bible Mainz: Peter Schoeffer 1472; Parler seul : poème Tristan Tzara and Joan Miró 1950, Dlia Golosa. Mayakovsky, Vladimir and El Lissitzky 1923.
The majority of Rare Books are catalogued, however some collections may only be accesible via card catalogues or lists.