Rare books from the Ercildoune library

In 1949 Lady Currie of Ercildoune homestead (near Ballarat) donated a large group of paintings, works on paper, decorative arts and other items to the Gallery in memory of her late husband, Sir Alan Currie.  Included in this donation was a group of important, and rare, 18th and 19th century publications detailing the sea voyages of 'discovery' by Europeans and early expeditions on land and sea after the settlement of Australia.

Until recently the Gallery has not had a full record of these volumes and the images which appear in them and this potentially invaluable resource on the early European view of Australia has therefore remained inaccessible.  Handling books over time will cause damage so by fully documenting them and photographing the plates, we can use the information in future gallery publications and exhibitions, keeping the books available for researchers, staff and gallery visitors well into the future.

With financial assistance from the Gordon Darling Foundation, the library has been catalogued, documenting all the details of the book's history and production, and their importance in the knowledge of early discovery.  The plates have been photographed to bring this information to Gallery visitors, both on-site and on-line.

Note - Additional books from the library will be featured on this site over time and an education kit related to this material will be added as soon as it becomes available.