Early images of the Australian Aborigines: an exhibition of material from the Monash University Library Rare Book Collection, 14 October - 29 November 1993


Title

Early images of the Australian Aborigines: an exhibition of material from the Monash University Library Rare Book Collection, 14 October - 29 November 1993

Date

Description

The exhibition was held in the Rare Books Exhibition space, Sir Louis Matheson Library, Monash University from 14 October - 29 November 1993. This Exhibition has been organised to mark the Year of the Indigenous Peoples. The items on display give some idea of the resources available in the Monash University Library Rare Book Collection. The illustrations range from those made for Cook's Third Voyage (see item 3) and for the First Fleet Journals of Governors Phillip (items 4 & 5) and Hunter (item 6), through the illustrations in the explorers journals, travel accounts, and emigrants manuals, to the late nineteenth century works of ethnography and anthropology. The catalogue attempts to place the works in their contemporary context, the intention being to encourage students and academics to refer to these primary documents for their research. The books in which these illustrations occur are valuable sources of first-hand information on the Aborigines. The accounts were often written by men who had the aim of Christianizing and assimilating them, but they were also observers influenced by the nineteenth century ideal of scientific accuracy. In most cases they were describing, as exactly as they could, the customs and habits of the natives from close personal observation. The details they provide are usually the only surviving fragments of cultures which in most cases no longer exist. The Monash University Library is constantly adding to its collection of early Australiana. This is necessary to support the teaching and research of Australian cultural studies, history and literature being undertaken in the History and English Departments, and especially in the recently established National Centre for Australian Studies. However, this Exhibition would not have been as representative as it is without material from the collection of Sir Robert and Lady Price; these items are marked in the catalogue with an asterisk. Sir Robert Price was the Chairman of the CSIRO from 1970-77 and was on the Council at Monash University from 1977 to 1982. He has generously agreed to make a bequest of his fine collection of early Australiana to the Monash University Library Rare Book Collection. I wish to thank Dr. Bain Attwood of the Monash University History Department for agreeing to open the Exhibition; and Lorraine David for her usual willing assistance.

Some items kindly loaned by Sir Robert and Lady Price

Language

English

Type

Medium

Extent

34p.

Rights

Text - Monash University Library CC-BY 4.0. Images - Copyright Not Evaluated

Download File(s)

https://repository.erc.monash.edu/files/upload/Rare-Books/Exhibition-Catalogues/rb_exhibition_catalogues_1993_004.pdf

Citation

Overell, Richard and Overell, Richard (curator), “Early images of the Australian Aborigines: an exhibition of material from the Monash University Library Rare Book Collection, 14 October - 29 November 1993,” Monash Collections Online, accessed July 10, 2020, http://repository.erc.monash.edu/items/show/13221

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