Cultural Collections

Current Exhibitions

Reading adventures

Noel Shaw Gallery, Baillieu Library, from 16 July 2015

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 from Monday 20 April 2015

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.


Japanese wonders: Beautiful items from Rare Books at the University of Melbourne

Ground Floor, Baillieu Library to Sunday 7 June 2015

Japan has long been known for its sense of the aesthetic, as the way things are perceived is part of Japanese everyday life. This exhibition showcases paper, textiles, fan design, matchbox design, woodblock print creation, kimono design, manga and a few other curious items.


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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