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DISPLAYING POSTS BY: Leonie (3)

Artists and animals

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by Leonie
Publish date
20 April 2011
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This post comes from Leonie Cash, a librarian at the Museum Victoria library.

Thanks to the network of arts libraries, ARLIS, a trio of RMIT art academics visited the MV Library’s rare books collection recently to view examples of eighteenth and nineteenth century scientific illustration. Facsimiles of Albertus Seba and Maria Merian’s work were also on display.

Facsimilies Facsimiles of famous works by Albertus Seba and Maria Merian.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

The three visitors are associated with RMIT’s School of Art and all are practising artists with a keen interest in natural history, particularly natural history illustration.

Artists studying rare books Greg Moncrieff, work experience student Max and Louise Weaver examine the exquisite illustrations in MV's rare books.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Greg Moncrieff was very pleased with the diversity of material available from the old books on display.

While looking at Gould’s humming birds, Louise Weaver was fascinated by the methods of layering of paint that reproduce the beautiful colours of these small birds.

Peter Ellis, Associate Professor and Studio Coordinator of Painting at RMIT, has written that the “experience of travel has had a profound impression on my work” and his visit to Museum Victoria’s rare books, though a short distance, has left him wanting to return again soon.

Rare book with fish illustration Fish illustration from 19th century America.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

The MV Library is happy to host visiting scholars by appointment; please contact us via email.

Links:

X Marks the Spot exhibition, 2006

Dear Antarctican

Author
by Leonie
Publish date
16 March 2011
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This post comes from Leonie Cash, a librarian at the Museum Victoria library.

The MV Library received one of 150 invitations sent for a worldwide gathering of book collectors, librarians, archivists, and historians known as The Antarctic Circle. This group is united by their interest in the art and history of Antarctic studies.

The meeting in New Hampshire is organised by Robert Stephenson, a retired Harvard professor and founder of The Antarctic Circle. Unfortunately we can't attend the meeting, but Robert visited us recently to inspect MV's copy of Aurora Australis. This book is one of 90 copies printed under harsh conditions in Antarctica in 1907-08 during Ernest Shackleton's Nimrod expedition.

Robert and Leonie Founder of The Antarctic Circle, Robert Stephenson, and MV librarian, Leonie Cash, with MV's copy of Aurora Australis.
Source: The Antarctic Circle
 

Robert has visited libraries and personal collectors around the world comparing copies of Aurora Australis and the individual features of each copy are painstakingly recorded on The Antarctic Circle website. Each Aurora Australis is unique; the book was bound with covers made from wooden packing-cases which contained the expedition's provisions. The MV copy is stencilled CHICKEN and is signed by Ernest Shackleton and George Marston. We also have the 1988 facsimile edition in the Rare Books Collection of the library.

Details of Aurora Australia Details of MV's copy of Aurora Australia. Left: signatures of Ernest Shackleton and George Marston. Right: the inside back cover reads 'CHICKEN' from the original packing crate.
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Pages from Aurora Australis Two pages of MV's copy of Aurora Australis.
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Links:

The Antarctic Circle

Details of MV's copy on The Antactic Circle

MV News: Library Week rare book viewing

Beautiful books in both cities

Author
by Leonie
Publish date
20 December 2010
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Comments (1)

This post comes from Leonie Cash, librarian at the Museum Victoria library.

Finally, something Sydney and Melbourne agree upon! Both Museum Victoria and the Australian Museum were avid collectors of books in the mid-19th century.

Gould's Birds of Australia Gould's Birds of Australia in the MV Library Rare Books Collection.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Matthew Stephens, reference librarian at the beautiful Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection at the Historic Houses Trust of NSW, recently spent time examining MV's archives and rare books. As part of his PhD research on the growth of book collecting from 1850 to the late 1880s. Matthew was keen to compare his findings from the Australian Museum with evidence of the early book collections at Museum Victoria. His research here confirmed the richness of the scientific book collections nurtured in Sydney and Melbourne at that time.

Links

MV News: Biodiversity Heritage Library

MV News: Library Week rare book viewing

Rare books at the Australian Museum

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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.

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