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.