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Rare Book Collection

The Rare Book Collection, mostly created via donation, contains a broad range of types of books covering a wide range of topics, many connected to North Queensland and the tropics.

Books are generally considered rare because of the nature of their publishing or association. A range of criteria are employed to determine the rarity of a book including, but not limited to, age, edition and known significant provenance.

A collection highlight includes the 30 volumes donated by Sir Russell Drysdale of early Australian classic works (Australiana) such as the account of the settlement of Sydney by Captain Watkin Tench of the British marines who arrived in Australia with the First Fleet in 1788.

Various volumes from the Sir Russell Drysdale gift to the Rare Book Collection. Photograph By Michael Marzik.