Useful books

One of our  aims in staging exhibitions is to showcase different strengths of our Rare  Books Collection.  Broadly speaking,  history, literature and art are the areas usually represented in such collections.  The books chosen for display here are historical, but their usefulness lies in  the broad field of social history, the practicalities of the way people lived.There is a tendency to  paint the past in broad brush strokes, but a close study of the books from each  period allows us to fine-tune our historical perceptions.

People have a  fascination for how things work and these books help us understand the  technology and the skills involved. We can see how men and women,  professionals, craftsmen and tradesmen made a living and how they amused  themselves.

The exhibition includes  books on applied science and technology, manuals and trade catalogues. Such  books have always played a major role in the publishing industry and are  important to those studying the "history of the book," another of the strengths  of the Monash Collection.

The exhibition can be seen  from  7 October 2010 - 23 February 2011 at the Rare Books Exhibition space, Level 1, ISB wing, Sir Louis Matheson Library, Clayton campus, Monash University.