We ask that all visitors and researchers comply with the current University COVID-safe practices
- If you would like to view the collection please make an appointment via email.
The Special & Rare Collections manages and provides access to the cultural and historical records of the University as well as private papers and records from individuals; families; local businesses; community, charitable and cultural organisations; and The Royal Society of Tasmania Collection. It consists of special and rare books and early manuscripts; journals; maps; university records of a non-business nature; and private materials including diaries, letters, photographs, paintings and other collectable ephemera. Some of the material from our collections has been digitised and can be viewed on SPARC and the Open Access Repository (ePrints)
Open to Collaborate
The University of Tasmania is committed to the development of new modes of collaboration, engagement, and partnership with Indigenous peoples for the care and stewardship of past and future heritage collections.
The Special and Rare Collections is located on Level 5 of the Morris Miller Library on the Sandy Bay Campus and may be accessed during Special & Rare opening hours by appointment.
|Make an appointment|
|Phone number||+61 3 6226 7883|
|Postal address||Private Bag 25 Hobart 7001|
|Monday & Wednesday||10.00am - 5.00pm (closed for lunch 12.30pm-1.30pm) - please contact us by email to make an appointment|
|Thursday & Friday||Closed|
When accessing materials from the Special and Rare Collections you will need to agree to and sign the conditions on the Consultation Form (PDF 253KB).
If you are considering using Special and Rare materials for commercial publication you will need to use the Request to Publish form (PDF 224KB). These can be filled out in person when you arrive, or submitted via email.
|Special Collections Staff|
The Rare Book Collection is housed in the restricted-access Rare Room. The Collection comprises books and journals, from a range of sub-collections including Christ College (part of which remains uncatalogued), Abercrombie, Baikie, Dunbabin, Franklin, Quaker, Royal Society of Tasmania, St John Fisher College, University of Tasmania and Walker; plus other donated or acquired rare materials.
Search the Rare Book Collections
- UTAS Library Catalogue to locate Rare books and journals
- Manual indexes to the Christ College rare book collection are located in the Special & Rare Collections Reading Room
Access to the Rare Book Collections
Most rare materials are available for viewing and consultation in the Special & Rare Reading Room. We ask that you make an appointment before visiting.
The Royal Society of Tasmania (RST) Library is maintained by the UTAS Library. The Collection – some of which is held in the restricted-access Rare Room and some on the closed compactus shelves - comprises a diverse range of approximately 7000 books and 1600 journal titles, the oldest printed book (c1472) in Tasmania, early maps and many 19th century private family deposit collections. Its flagship journal, The RST Papers & Proceedings, is held in both paper and electronic formats.
Search The RST Library Collection
- Index by subject (Excel 202 KB)
- Index by name (Excel 249.5 KB)
- Index to rare map collection & digital maps
- UTAS Library catalogue to locate The RST books and journals
- Scanned items from a range of The RST materials
Access to the The RST Collection
Most of The RST rare materials are available for viewing and consultation in the Special & Rare Reading Room. Some materials may require access permission prior to viewing so we suggest you contact staff before visiting.
When accessing materials from Royal Society of Tasmania Collection you will need to agree to and sign the conditions on the Consultation Form (PDF 253KB). If you are considering using TRST materials for commercial publication you will need to use the Request to Publish (PDF 224KB) form. These can be filled out in person when you arrive, or via email.
Access to The RST Collection of books and journals housed in the compactus on Level 5 of the Morris Miller Library is available 9-5 Monday to Friday (see Special & Rare staff or phone 6226 2211). Loan conditions, fall under the UTAS Library rules. Members of The Royal Society may borrow from the University Library as community borrowers. No fee is charged for Members.
|TRST Loan Policy|
|Monograph (Book)||not for loan|
|Serials (unbound)||not for loan|
3 day loan period -|
The Royal Society members, University staff and postgraduate students only
The Royal Society of Tasmania website
The Quaker (i.e. Society of Friends) Collection, estimated to be the finest collection of Quaker materials in the Southern Hemisphere, was transferred to the UTAS Library Special and Rare Collections in 1971. It consists of approximately 3500 titles plus a diverse collection of early Quaker family letters, photographs, diaries, Society of Friends minutes and other materials on religious and social matters by and of interest to Quakers.
Search the Quaker Collection
- UTAS Library catalogue to locate the Quaker books
- Scanned items from a range of Quaker materials
- Index to Walker family materials (an early Tasmanian Quaker family)
- Online exhibition Quaker Life in Tasmania
Quaker Life in Tasmania - the first hundred years, by Michael Bennett, University of Tasmania Library, 2007
History of the Quaker Collection (by a former UTAS Special Collections Librarian)
Access to the Quaker Collection
Most Quaker rare materials are available for viewing and consultation in the Reading Room. Some materials may require access permission prior to viewing so we suggest you contact staff before visiting.
Access to the open-access titles of the Quaker Collection is available for ‘library use only’ on Level 5 of the Morris Miller Library, 9-5 Monday to Friday (see Special & Rare staff or phone 6226 2211).
Private Deposits Collection
The Private Deposit Collections include materials from private individuals, families, charities, organisations and local business records relating to the intellectual, cultural and commercial life of early Tasmania.
Search the Private Deposits
- Index by subject (Excel 341 KB)
- Index by name (Excel 678 KB)
- Index to names with explanatory notes (some items have been scanned)
- Scanned items from a range of Private Deposits
Access the Private Deposits
Most Private Deposit materials are available for viewing and consultation in the Special & Rare Reading Room. Some Private Deposits require access permission prior to viewing so we suggest you contact staff before visiting.
The University records include: an extensive staff and student photograph collection; photographic slides, glass negatives and lantern slides; UTAS Letters Patent; architectural drawings and campus photographs; newsletters and magazines; oral histories; calendars and other older records and ephemeral materials of non- business nature.
Search the University Records Collections
- Index by subject (Excel 148 KB) (reference number)
- Index by name (Excel 113 KB) (surname, date, occupation, topic, reference number)
Christ College Collection (a sub-collection within the University Records)
Many of the Rare Christ College books and manuscripts remain uncatalogued. Interested persons may like to view the exhibition From Manuscript to Print or the Library Open Repository (ePrints) collection of images and email email@example.com to organise a viewing time.
The UTAS photo collection (predominantly 1960-80s) remains uncatalogued.
Access to the University Records Collections Materials are open for viewing and consultation in the Special & Rare Reading Room.
Become a digital volunteer with the UTAS Library Special and Rare Collections. UTAS Library is dedicated to making its digital collections more visible and accessible online so that everyone can use and share them, now and in the future.
Help us by transcribing unique personal stories from diaries, letters, and other historical documents. Transcribing old handwriting into a digital copy makes it easier to find, share and work with. You can volunteer from home using your own computer. We will provide training and full support.
To find out more about becoming part of our volunteer community please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Projects: Help decipher Lady Jane Franklin’s diary excerpts
- Open Access Repository (ePrints) - Special Collections
- UTAS Online Exhibitions
- Dr George Fordyce Story Collection
- Companion to Tasmanian History
- TAHO - Tasmanian Archives Online
- Tasmanian Historical Research Association
- Papers and Proceedings (Tasmanian Historical Research Association)
- East Coast Heritage Museum
- National Archives of Australia
- Tasmanian archives and heritage
- Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery
- Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery
- Military Museum of Tasmania
- University of Melbourne - Digital Cultural and Special Collections
- Australian National University - Rare books, special collections & manuscripts
- University of Sydney - Australian Digital Collections
- University of Sydney - Digital Collections
- Collection Policy (PDF 253KB)
- Consultation form (PDF 253KB)
- Donations form (PDF 605KB)
- Permission to Publish or Reproduce (PDF224KB)
- Reading Room Rules (PDF 612KB)
- TRST Deed of Agreement (PDF 412KB)
Quaker life in Tasmania: the first hundred years by Michael Bennett
ISBN I 86295 367 8
Quaker life in Tasmania: the first hundred years is an engagingly written and beautifully illustrated history of the Friends in Tasmania. From 1832, with the arrival of the first missionaries in Hobart and the establishment of the first Meeting, the Quakers have made a disproportionate contribution to Tasmanian life and welfare. Their witness against the brutal treatment of Aborigines and convicts, and their enterprise and philanthropy, played a considerable role in Tasmania's evolution from a vice-ridden penal settlement to a self-reliant and humane society. This is the fascinating story of remarkable women and men whose values, commitment and service remain an inspiration and living force in contemporary Tasmania. The book has sixty-four pages, six in full colour with over100 pictures of items selected from the collections of the Religious Society of Friends' Meeting House, the Friends' School, the University of Tasmania Library Special and Rare Collections, and private owners. An exhibition featuring many of these items was held at the University Library. Michael Bennett is Professor of History-; University of Tasmania, and the author of four books and many articles on British and Australian history.
$25 + postage
From manuscript to print by Rodney Thomson
ISBN 978 1 86295 483 0
From manuscript to print provides a description of all western manuscripts and early printed books to 1600 held in the University of Tasmania Library, the State Library of Tasmania and St. David's Cathedral, Hobart. It is also the catalogue of an exhibition displaying many of these items held at the University Library, December 2008- January 2009.
The book has one hundred and twenty eight pages, in full colour, with over 270 illustrations. Rodney Thomson is Professor of Medieval History in the School of History & Classics, University of Tasmania. He is the author of many books and papers on medieval books and learning, including descriptive catalogues of the manuscripts at Lincoln, Hereford and Worcester Cathedrals, and Merton College Oxford.
$45 + postage
View all of our archived online exhibitions below.
View our more recent online exhibitions