John Gould, A Monograph of the Trochilidæ, or, A Family of Humming-birds, London, published by the author, 1849–61
Levels 4 & 5, Main entry, Swanston St
The Mirror of the world exhibition showcases many of the rare, beautiful and historically significant books held in the Library's collections.
Located in the galleries overlooking the magnificent La Trobe Reading Room, this exhibition celebrates the unique place of books in our hearts and minds.
Mirror of the world provides an overview of the history of book production, design and illustration, with a display of fine examples from the Library's collections dating from the Middle Ages to the present day.
The exhibition's title is taken from William Caxton's Myrrour of the worlde (1490), one of the first illustrated books published in England.
The exhibition is divided into five major themes:
- 'Books and ideas', which outlines the early history of books and printing
- 'The book and the imagination', which looks at the way books and texts are imaginatively created, while at the same time acting imaginatively upon us
- 'Exploring the world', which investigates how books have been used to explore and document the world including, its landscape, topography, inhabitants, flora and fauna
- 'Art and nature', which looks at how botanical illustrations unite the scientific and artistic worlds
- 'The artist and the book', which highlights the art of the book and the role of the artist in its production
This free exhibition is open 10am–5pm daily.