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.