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Historic Ephemera: Tickets in Australia’s First Lottery

In Australia and many other countries the holding of lotteries is now taken for granted. But Australia’s first lottery, in 1849, was founded on disaster, was surrounded by controversy, and was probably illegal. The disaster was the virtual collapse of the economy of the Colony of New South Wales in the early 1840s. This crisis … Continue reading

Australian Science Fiction (Part II)

Looking at what there was up to the 1940s, our best known early work is Out of the Silence by Erle Cox. If there was a Great Australian Science Fiction Novel outside the regular field, we would have thought of this one. It appeared first as a serial in the Melbourne Argus in 1919, was … Continue reading


There is no point in my pretending that my editorial to this yet again very late June issue is being written in June or before, when in fact I am writing it even after the following September issue was due to appear. The reasons being much the same as ever I will not go into … Continue reading


Patrick Storrs Fox’s response to Brian and correction of Brian Taylor’s ‘Black letter and black patterns’ in Biblionews Issues 365-366 (March–June 2010), pp. 16-18 (and pp. 23-27). Many thanks for the copy of Biblionews which arrived as a pleasant surprise a few days ago. And of course I am enormously flattered that you should have … Continue reading

Professor Alan D Crown

We note the death on 2 November of Professor Alan Crown, Emeritus Professor in Semitic Studies at the University of Sydney. A renowned scholar of Samaritan Studies, he wrote or co-wrote some 15 books and co-edited the Archive of Australian Judaica. Holdings to 1985 with Jennifer Alison and Neil Radford with assistance from Sister Marianne … Continue reading

Major EWO (Warren) Perry, MBE, ED, BEc (Sydney), MA (Melb), Litt D (Melb) (28/1/1909–7/11/2010)

IT IS WITH GREAT sadness that we mark the death of the oldest member of the Book Collectors Society, Doctor (and Major) Warren Perry. Few Australian scholars and historians could equal his assiduous approach to his life and work. For example, Warren gained his doctorate from The University of Melbourne in his 93rd year — … Continue reading

‘The Oxford Companion to the Book’ Edited by Michael F Suarez and HR Woudhuysen

OUP. 1,392 pp. $450 IF THE PRINTED BOOK is going to have a memorial to its passing, then The Oxford Companion to the Book (OCB) is perfect timing. It is certainly a monumental work in two small folio volumes with nearly 1,400 pages, bound in red imitation leather, all enclosed in a slipcase. The over … Continue reading

‘The Celebrated George Barrington’ by Nathan Garvey

Sydney: Hordern House, 327 pp. $64 NATHAN GARVEY, who was CH Currey Memorial Fellow at the State Library of New South Wales for 2008, is the author of a number of articles on early Australian literature and the 18th and 19th century book trade. His first book The Celebrated George Barrington: A Spurious Author, The … Continue reading

‘English in Print’ by Valerie Hotchkiss and Fred C Robinson

University of Illinois Press, cloth $65 (US) ISBN: 9780252033469; paper $35 (US) ISBN: 9780252075537 THE GROLIER CLUB continues its long tradition of excellent exhibitions and catalogues with ‘English in Print: from Caxton to Shakespeare to Milton’. The exhibition, held in New York May 12–July 26, 2008, was curated by Fred C Robinson, Douglas Tracy Smith … Continue reading

Beginning to Collect

(A talk given to the Victorian branch in May 2008) MY FAMILY context is a good place to start talking about how I began to collect. My father is Richard Overell, the Secretary of the Book Collectors Society of Australia (Victorian Branch). I think it worth situating my own collecting in relation to his influence. … Continue reading