Online Lists

Inland exploration

Inland exploration

Printed material on the exploration of the Australian interior, with special emphasis on South Australia and the central deserts. Many are fine copies from the library of Dr. Robert Edwards AO in attractive Sangorski & Sutcliffe bindings.

Gold in Australia

Gold in Australia

Books and manuscripts relating to the Australian gold rushes. A wide range of material is included, encompassing legal and technical reports, geological surveys, the art of prospecting, day-to-day life on the goldfields and social history of the era. Most are from the gold-rush era of the mid-nineteenth century, although a few later items relate to prospecting in northern Australia and central desert geological surveys. A handful of fictional works, including stories for children, are also included for good measure.

Of particular historical importance are the official reports into the Eureka stockade, and material relating to the history of Chinese miners on the Australian fields.

Australian literature

Australian literature

A selection of Australian literature including both colonial and twentieth century prose and poetry, and a choice of children’s books and early educational material. Some curious items from our extensive stock include literature celebrating early maritime discoveries in Australia and the Pacific, and a handful of utopias set in the southern land.

 

New Zealand History

New Zealand History

A good selection on the history of New Zealand from our extensive stock.

The nature of this material varies considerably – from small provincial printings to grand voyage publications of the eighteenth century (including Marion Dufresne, Cook and Surville). We have included relatively obscure material on the development of New Zealand society throughout the nineteenth century – with special focus on early settlement, the Wakefield colonization project, land claims, the Maori Wars and curious parochial accounts. Amidst this rich historical selection are highlights including some very rare books, notably Savage’s Account of New Zealand (1807) and Kendall’s Grammar and Vocabulary of the Language of New Zealand (1820). 

Northern Australia

Northern Australia

Early exploration and settlement in the tropical North, including the ill-fated Port Essington settlement and later attempts promoted by the government of South Australia. Of special interest are two portraits, the first being an early watercolour of Augustus Leopold Kuper who served as an officer at Port Essington. The second is an photographic study circa 1855 of Captain Montagu Frederick O’Reilly, who navigated northern Australian waters during 1839.

Nautical Medicine

Nautical Medicine

A diverse selection of books and manuscripts relating to nautical medicine. Most material concerns the problem of scurvy in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and some publications arise from the experiences of James Cook at sea. They include Sir John Pringle’s famous Royal Society address of 1776 amongst other lesser known works. The reaction of French surgeons and naval authorities to English advances in the treatment of scurvy is amply represented, see for example the Conseil de Marine manuscript report of 1777 (number 6).

Of special interest are the accounts of surgeons aboard convict transports, charged with caring for men and women under often atrocious conditions. Also included are two Acts of Parliament that changed the Australian convict history forever: one makes surgeons mandatory aboard transports while another empowers them to administer punishments at sea (items 16 and 17). The list concludes with a First Fleet classic by Australia’s foremost convict surgeon John White, bearing the early ownership inscription of another physician.

No such selection would be complete without some mention of that ubiquitous scourge of marine life – venereal disease – here tackled by none less than Admiral George Anson and his peers in the first item.

Longitude

Longitude

A selection of rare printed and manuscript material relating to the discovery of longitude. Following the disastrous loss of life at the Scilly Isles in 1707, resolving the problem assumed unprecedented importance and the famous reward was instituted by an Act of Parliament in 1714 (see item number 7). Other items of interest include an astronomy textbook from the library of John Harrison with his inscription, and a letter from d'Entrecasteaux's astronomer Paul-Édouard Rossel dismissing the lunar method.

Natural History

Natural History

A collection of books, manuscripts and pictures relating to natural history, with a focus on Australia and the Pacific. Highlights include a copy of Laborde's marvellous book of views of important French gardens including Malmaison; a lovely copy of Ventenat's Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues; a rare large paper copy of Smith's Exotic Botany; original watercolours by Samuel Howitt; and a copy of Atkinson's very rare Sydney-published work on brewing and distilling (1829).