Cultural Collections

Current Exhibitions

From the scriptorium: Manuscript leaves and facsimiles from Rare Books at the University of Melbourne Library

Ground floor, Baillieu Library to Friday 20 November 2015

Rare Books at the University Library holds a significant collection of illuminated medieval manuscript facsimiles, as well as original fragments for use in teaching and learning. A selection is showcased on the ground floor of the Baillieu Library to complement the exhibition and lecture series An Illumination: the Rothschild Prayer Book & other works from the Kerry Stokes Collection c. 1280–1685 at the University's Ian Potter Museum of Art. The items on display are arranged according to geographical region: Italy, Germany, France and England, and offer a glimpse of the magnificent books handcrafted in the medieval period.


Illuminated: stories from the Chemistry Cultural Collection

Ground Floor, School of Chemistry Building from Monday 17 August 2015

The School of Chemistry celebrates the 'International Year of Light' with an exhibition that brings together lamps, instruments, and materials used by chemists throughout the history of the School of Chemistry, and drawings, sculpture and projection by Peter Sharp in response to these items to illuminate and elucidate the secrets of the Universe.


Reading adventures

Noel Shaw Gallery, Baillieu Library, to Sunday 21 February 2016

The University Library at the University of Melbourne holds a rich selection of adventure books, from early examples such as Gulliver’s Travels and Robinson Crusoe, to stories set across Britain’s far-flung empire. Mapping the rise of the genre, the exhibition Reading adventures will showcase a broad range of adventure narratives from the University Library’s McLaren, Morgan and Public School collections. The exhibition will examine the growing popularity of adventure fiction during the nineteenth century, as printed books became more readily available and literacy rates rose. Featuring a range of lavish covers and attractive engravings, Reading adventures will address how adventure stories developed in response to a changing body of readers.

Exhibition Website


Compassion and courage: Doctors and Dentists at War

Medical History Museum to Saturday 30 April 2016’

War precipitates change and discovery in both the medical profession and in the field of dentistry due mainly to necessity and the immediacy of the issues at hand. The forefront of this innovation is in the field, in the midst of makeshift hospitals, poor hygiene and inadequate supplies. During WW1 serviceman dealt with appalling conditions in the trenches and were subjected to the effects of new weapons such as mustard gas. Consequently, medical professionals in the field faced a courageous battle against the challenges of war wounds, poor sanitation and disease. This exhibition will explore the physical injury, disease, chemical warfare and psychological trauma of WWI, the personnel involved and the important medical and dental breakthroughs that were a direct outcome of the war. Drawing on the collections of the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology, the Henry Forman Atkinson Dental Museum, and the Medical History Museum and other major collections.


Pack up your troubles: Music and the Great War

Grainger Mueseum to Sunday 20 December 2015

This exhibition explores—in sight and sound—the Australian experience of music in WWI. Rousing marches were crucial to the success of recruitment drives and a fitting farewell for departing troops. Fundraising concerts yielded a steady flow of money to support the war effort. Young men who could sing, or play an instrument, took their talents—amateur or professional—to improve life in training camps and at the front. Gramophones and pianos found their way into the trenches. And music was there afterwards: as diversion and therapy for the injured or as a means of earning a living.


Current Exhibitions at the Ian Potter Museum of Art

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