University Library

Rare books and manuscripts

Rare Books

This is a restricted-access collection of items which includes early imprints, limited editions, illustrated folios and books considered rare and/or fragile. The purpose of this collection is to ensure the long-term preservation of this kind of material. The Rare Book Collection covers a wide range of subjects, but is particularly strong in European history, literature and theology of the medieval and Early Modern periods. A significant number of the books in the collection were donated by the Friends of the Library.

Malvina Evalyn Wood Collection

This collection contains scarce items published during the periods 1850 - 1920 that once resided on the open shelves but which do not fall within the scope of the other collections in Special Collections. Many of these items were acquired during the time of the first University Librarian, Miss Malvina Evalyn Wood.

Manuscript Collection

Special Collections houses a wide range of manuscript material: items from the pre-printing era, printed works in their original manuscript form, and personal papers of authors and researchers. Included in the Manuscript Collection are Australian literary works, correspondence, medieval manuscripts, and an unpublished history of the University of Western Australia. Some finding aids are available on Research Data Online [under Special Collections].

Blackall Legal Manuscripts

Included in the manuscript collection are more than 40 legal documents mostly from the 17th and 18th centuries. Many are written on vellum and they date from 1387 to 1904.