The Melbourne Rare Book Fair is back this month

The Melbourne Rare Book Fair is back this month
Carol Saffer

Twenty-two Australian antiquarian, rare book and rare print dealers are thrilled to set up their stalls in the University of Melbourne’s Wilson Hall again after a two-year hiatus.

The Melbourne Rare Book Fair, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, running from Thursday, July 7 to Saturday, July 9, will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a wide range of rare and beautiful antiquarian books and prints stockpiled by the dealers during the pandemic.


This is the place for book lovers or collectors to browse and buy a vast range of antique, rare and collectible books, prints and ephemera across a wide range of subjects at prices suited to their interests and budget.


Come and search through and discover topics on cooking, local history, Australiana, poetry, literature, art, children’s books, militaria, LGBTIQ+, counterculture and colonial Australia.

Antiquarian bookseller Kay Craddock presents the Fair’s possible piece de resistance, an extremely rare example of the Second Folio Shakespeare (1632).

It is the earliest edition of Shakespeare practicably obtainable on the market and arguably the most important book published in English.

On the other hand, imagine owning a rare, limited edition of The Antarctic Book: Winter Quarters, 1907-1909; a record of Shackleton’s expedition to the Ross Sea signed by each member of the shore party.

If you are a fan of William Blake’s works, make your way to Archives Fine Books to pick up a scarce copy of The Pastorals of Virgil (1821) with rare woodcuts by William Blake.

Beyond these highlights, there will be much more, ranging from medieval illuminated manuscripts of the 14th century to rare and unique items from the 21st century.

For further information, contact Tim White on 0432 569 809 or [email protected]. •

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