The exhibition was held in the Rare Books Exhibition space, Sir Louis Matheson Library, Monash University from 6 - 24 July 1995. The first joint project of The British Council and the National Library of Australia is 'Literary Links between Britain and Australia', a 16-poster exhibition which illustrates the literary relationship between the two countries. It was initiated by Jim Potts of The British Council in Sydney, and Ian Templeman, Assistant Director-General of the National Library of Australia (Cultural and Educational Services). The exhibition was curated by Australian Heritage Projects, Canberra, and designed by Kathy Jakupec of the National Library. The posters are printed in five colours, with a full colour illustration, often of a work of art, a prominent feature of many. In addition, there are many black and white illustrations and photographs. The exhibition has both a chronological and a thematic structure. Its subject matter begins before European settlement, and extends to the present. The task of depicting the topic of British writers living in or visiting Australia, and Australian writers working in Britain, has not been easy. An enormous list of names has been reduced to a handful per poster, for design reasons. There have, of necessity, been many omissions, and this is regretted. Nevertheless, those responsible for the exhibition believe that a representative sample of writers has been selected, and their work illustrated in some way, in each category. The aim has been twofold: to shed light on the cultural and literary influence each country has had on the other; and to bring to a wider audience the work of many writers who may not be known outside Australia. The exhibition should appeal to other ex-British colonies who have developed an indigenous literature in English, while recognising their cultural heritage from the mother country. The dynamics of this relationship, particularly as ex-colonies have moved into mature nationhood, will find their parallels in this exhibition.
To support the British Council/National Library of Australia travelling exhibition we have placed on display a selection of the Australiana held in the Monash Rare Books Collection. The appearance of the travelling exhibition, ''Literary Links" at Monash was organised by Ian Laurenson through the British Council. This catalogue of Australiana from the Monash University Library Rare Books Collection was written by Richard Overell, the Rare Books Librarian.