By type

Media release – Melbourne Rare Book Week starts Friday 30 June

Over 50 FREE events and exhibitions, held at literary and historical societies, libraries and bookshops throughout Melbourne from June 30 to July 9 

Link to flipbook version of program:

Link to pdf version of program:

 Now in its sixth year, the 2017 Melbourne Rare Book Week program is being hailed as the best yet. 


The featured author this year is Jane Austen—to mark the 200th anniversary of her death in July 2017. Austen’s popularity reigns supreme, with young people discovering her and older booklovers rereading her novels. A remarkable exhibition By a lady: the world of Jane Austen opened at the Library at The Dock last night, as a prelude to Rare Book Week, and the innovative multimedia work by young Monash University students is particularly noteworthy.
Melbourne Library service presents internationally renowned author Susannah Fullerton, President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia and Patron of the Kipling Society of Australia, along with Professor Chris Browne, for Readings from Jane Austen, and Collecting Jane Austen, and the exhibition By a lady: the world of Jane Austen.

Samuel Johnson and his biographer, James Boswell, Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson—what, if any, are the connections between these men? Why does Holmes refer to Watson as “my Boswell”? Why are so many Johnsonian scholars also Sherlockians?
John Byrne for The Johnson Society of Australia will attempt some answers: Johnson & Boswell, Holes & Watson. Real and literary friendships.

Charles La Trobe was intrigued by the origin of the ancient Mexicans; Lord Kingsborough, author of The Antiquities of Mexico (1831-1848), fervently believed that the indigenous Mexicans were the direct descents of the ten Lost Tribes of Israel; Mrs Barbara Simon’s Ten Tribes of Israel  (1836), is historically identified with the aborigines of the western hemisphere. Both the Kingsborough and Simon books are mentioned by La Trobe in his The Rambler in Mexico (1836).
Dr Sylvia Whitmore will tell this story in her lecture The Antiquities of Mexico. Charles La Trobe and Lord Kingsborough. Presented by The C. J. La Trobe Society. 

Gideon Haigh, will unravel the mystery behind the iconic photograph of cricketer Victor Trumper leaping out to drive, which is featured on the cover of his latest book, Stroke of Genius 

In 1855, under the pseudonym ‘Rustica’, William Snell Chauncy wrote wise word to intending colonial farmers: The endeavour has been to render easy to the apprehension of the rustic and unlettered immigrant.
Dr Andrew Lemon explores this rare local history, held in the Royal Historical Society of Victoria collection.

These are only a handful of the events featured in this year’s Melbourne Rare Book Week program.

Visit the website:

For more information contact Melbourne Rare Book Week Convenor Kay Craddock