Guide to the Research Collections

- Section -- II: -- THE HUMANITIES


The general collections of the library contain a good working collection of Australian literary criticism and bibliography, including most of the standard works issued during the last seventy years. Files of the earlier literary periodicals, although not complete, include the Literary News (1837-38) and the Adelaide Miscellany of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge (1848-49); also present are the Bulletin from volume 28, and some issues of The New Triad and Bookfellow. As of 1966 the library received eight Australian literary periodicals including Meanjin, Southerly, and the Australian Quarterly.

The leading figures in Australian literature can be studied in early editions; representative are W.C. Wentworth's Australasia (1823) and Marcus Clarke's For the Term of His Natural Life (1876); the adventure novels of Thomas A. Browne are also well represented. The Berg Collection has a set of first editions of the novels of Henry Handel Richardson, including a copy of the trilogy The Fortunes of Richard Mahony. A group of fifteen autograph letters in the Berg Collection dated from 1917 through 1923 are for the most part addressed to Carl Van Vechten.

Holdings of contemporary literature in the general collections are substantial, with special attention devoted to modern Australian poetry. The Rare Book Division houses publications from a number of the private presses in the country.