The Rare Books collections consists of non-Australian early printed books, periodicals and pamphlets which, because of their age, beauty, rarity or other factors, are not suitable for placing on the open shelves. The collections also include manuscripts, high quality facsimiles, modern limited editions, examples of fine binding and printing and notable private press collections, including Doves and Kelmscott Press.
Although the cut-off date for inclusion is generally 1880, there are also many later books in the collections. The largest non-Australian collection, the BX collection, originated from books which were formerly on the Library's open shelves. Other collections are based on the private libraries of individuals, primarily Dr Orde Poynton (much of the Rare Book Room collection and the English Room Collection) and Dr Pierre Gorman (the Cambridge Collection).
- Architecture Rare Books
- BX Collectionof Non-Australian Books and Journals
- R C Bald Collection of English Literature
- Robert Brecy Collection of French Popular Music
- Cambridge Collection
- English Room
- Godfrey Howitt Entomology Collection
- Medical Rare Books (previously located in the Brownless Biomedical Library)
- Middle Eastern Manuscripts
- Frederick Morgan Collection of Children's Books
- Public School Fiction Collection
- Leo Raab Political Thought Collection
- Rare Book Room
- Alan Villiers Collection
Access and Availability
Material held in the Rare Books collections can 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.