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Special collections

The Special Collections

The Museum Research Library has acquired several fine collections that provide a depth of material in particular subject areas. They are referred to as special collections  because of their rare nature or comprehensive coverage of a particular subject.  In particular, it is because of their previous history and association as a professional working library of notable figures in their respective field of interest.  These collections are each arranged separately to maintain their past integrity and are therefore kept apart from the Research Library's general collection.  They are not for loan however still form a vital part of the Research Library's overall resources and may be viewed in the Reading Room.

The special collections and their areas of focus include:

  • Baldwin Collection: Covers the development of steam engineering and is of particular interest to steam buffs. It provides a comprehensive interpretation of steam engineering. Many of the books date from the nineteenth century and are not available elsewhere in Australia. (Held onsite) Search within Baldwin collection

  • Cummins Collection: An extensive collection of old trade catalogues and advertising ephemera, made over 20 years by Colin Cummins. (Held onsite) Search within Cummins collection

  • Edwards Collection: Contains the personal library of Dr Robert Edwards covering art, ethnography, anthropology, language, culture, politics and general primitive cultures. (Held offsite) Search within Edwards collection

  • Fitzhardinge Collection: from the Library of Laurence Frederic Fitzhardinge. (Held offsite) Search within Fitzhardinge Collection

  • French Collection: Donation by Rex French. Contains various automotive manuals. (Held offsite) Search within French Collection

  • Gammage Collection: Books and journals of Professor Bill Gammage. Mostly Australian and military history(Held offsite) Search within Gammage Collection

  • Hindwood Collection: The working library of Keith Hindwood, a world respected ornithologist, is of particular interest as it includes many of his personal papers. (Held offsite) Search within Hindwood Collection

  • Illich Collection: Valuable and unusual collection of workshop manuals. (Held offsite) Search within Illich collection

  • Inglis Collection: Donation by Professor Ken Inglis of books on military history especially those used when writing "Sacred Places". (Held offsite) Search within Inglis collection

  • McCarthy Collection: This donation by Dr Fred McCarthy further enhanced the extensive anthropology collection inherited from the Institute of Anatomy. (Held offsite) Search within McCarthy collection

  • Mackenzie Collection: Originally donated by Sir Colin Mackenzie to the Institute of Anatomy, this collection contains works on anthropology, phrenology and works from the Institute. (Held onsite) Search within Mackenzie collection

  • Mackaness Collection: Contains the personal library of James Bellamy Mackaness covering aspects of engineering reflecting his long association with Commeng. (Held offsite) Search within Mackaness collection

  • Pope Collection:Consists of works from the professional library of Elizabeth Pope, a former curator of the Australian Museum, who specialised in the seashore. (Held offsite) Search within Pope collection

  • Price Collection: Material on immigration donated by Charles Price. (Held offsite) Search within Price collection

  • Ride Collection: This is the personal library of Dr David Ride and covers aspects of Australian history, heritage and museums, and religion. (Held offsite) Search within Ride collection

  • Rare book collection: This collection contains rare or other special material. They are located in a special climate-controlled room and may only be read in the Research Library.

To view items from these collections it is necessary to request an appointment as special arrangements need to be made. Please provide details such as the title of the book you wish to view, this is obtained from the catalogue, along with some brief information regarding why you are interested in viewing the item, such as for research, study or personal use. Please note these books can only be photocopied by Research Library staff due to their fragile condition and that some may not be able to be scanned or photocopied due to their fragility. This decision will be determined by the Research Library staff.

Page last updated: 27 October 2014

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