Special Collections
Rare Books and Prints

Ian McLaren Collection

The personal library of Mr Ian McLaren was acquired by the University in 1976. An enthusiastic bibliographer and former member of Parliament of Victoria, Mr McLaren assembled a large library which reflected his interests in the active world of politics. Initially numbering some 34,000 books, serials, newspapers, pamphlets, parliamentary papers and ephemera, the collection has grown to about 50,000 volumes through generous donations from Mr McLaren and purchases by the Library.

The McLaren Collection is an exceptionally rich and comprehensive one, with a particular emphasis on Australian exploration, history, anthropology and literature. It also includes significant material on New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, South Pacific and Antarctica, and it is organized by Mr McLaren's own unique cataloging system of subject headings (see table below.)

Mr McLaren was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Melbourne in 1996. He passed away in April 2000.

Guide to Australian Studies Resources in the McLaren Collection

Subject Areas in the McLaren Collection

  • Aborigines*
  • Antarctica*
  • Architecture
  • Art*
  • Australiana**
  • Aviation
  • Charles Barrett
  • British Commonwealth
  • Biography**
  • Bligh
  • FW Boreham
  • Bonwick
  • Children's Fiction**
  • Captain Cook*
  • Caxton Press
  • Crime*
  • CJ Dennis
  • Education
  • Emigration
  • Environment
  • Exhibitions**
  • Exploration
  • Federation*
  • Ferguson
  • Geology
  • Gold**
  • Adam Lindsay Gordon
  • Governors
  • Hakluyt Society
  • Immigration**
  • Indonesia
  • Henry Kendall
  • JD Lang
  • Henry Lawson
  • Liquor
  • Literature*
    -Australia
    -New Zealand
  • Literary Magazines*
  • Local History
  • Media
  • Medicine
  • Militaria*
    -Australia
    -New Zealand
  • Minerals
  • Walter Murdoch
  • Natural History**
  • New South Wales**
  • New Zealand*
  • Non-literary Periodicals
  • Northern Territory**
  • Olympic Games
  • Pacific*
  • Papua New Guinea*
  • Photography
  • Politics
  • Political Pamphlets**
  • Primary Industry
  • Psychology
  • Queensland
  • Railways
  • Religion**
  • RL Stevenson
  • Shipping**
  • South Australia**
  • Sport*
  • Tasmania**
  • Theology
  • Travel
  • Victoria**
  • Western Australia**

* Catalogued online

** Partially catalogued

Access and Availability

The major part of the collection is catalogued online; however, a certain proportion is listed only in a separate card catalogue in the Cultural Collections Reading Room. Enquiries about the collection are welcome and Special Collections staff will assist researchers in identifying and locating material.

Material may be accessed through the Cultural Collections Reading Room in the Baillieu Library. Requests for material can be made online prior to visiting the reading room. To request material, please use our online request form.

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