The Rare Books Collection


About the Rare Books Collection

The Library of Bishop Thomas, an English scholar and the first Bishop of Goulburn, forms the nucleus of the Rare Books collection. In 1892, after the death of Bishop Thomas, his wife Mary Thomas donated his library to the diocese. This collection was subsequently donated to St Mark’s Anglican National Memorial Library.

The collection was then enriched by Bishop Burgmann’s library, and items from the personal libraries of Bishops Barlow, Chalmers, Chynoweth and Garnsey and Archdeacon Murchison.

Prominent Australians have also contributed to this collection.

The Rare Books Collection includes the following.

  • Books published in Australia pre-1850
  • Books published in other countries and languages pre-1800
  • Editions limited to 50 copies that are
    • of special interest
    • fine binding
    • end papers
    • subject or authors of particular interest to the geographical area of the Diocese
    • gifts by visiting VIPs to Australian Prime Ministers.

Books of particular interest

  • Common Prayer Book, Glove Edition (To be carried in the finger of a lady’s glove)
  • Mite Bible.
  • The Breeches Bible, published 1607.
  • The Treacle Bible, published 1572.
  • A curious Hieroglyphic Bible.
  • Our oldest rare book  is “Provinciale sen constitutiones Anglie cum sumariis” by William Lyndewode published in Paris in 1501.

Library Special Collections Form

The Rare Books collection is not available for loan but may be viewed in the Library. 

Requesting access to special collections:

  • Access to the Library’s special collections is by application.
  • Applicants will receive an email notification once a request has been received.
  • Library staff will confirm the availability of material and date and time for a visit.
  • You may select more than one by selecting your choices while pressing the ctrl key of your keyboard.
  • Please help us by giving as much information as you can.
  • We'd like to understand how best to help you. Tell us more about your area of interest, including details of your research or study you are undertaking.
  • Please give us a preferred time and date during our library opening hours.

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