Library early closure: The Library will close at 5pm on Thursday 23 October to prepare for the annual Keith Murdoch Oration. More information

Facade conservation & repair works: Over the next few weeks there will be intermittent noise in the La Trobe Reading Room while work is carried out on the external walls. More information

Library early closure & facade conservation works
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Ivan Page on missionaries & printing presses

In the early 20th century, the Society of Missionaries of Africa established printing presses at its Catholic missions in Africa, including Algeria, Tanzania and Uganda. The books printed included religious texts, African-language grammars and dictionaries, and Latin textbooks for African students.

In this lecture, Fr Ivan Page MAfr discusses the books printed at the main press at the Mother House in Algeria and the insights they provide into the spread of literacy, the development of education and the growth of Christianity in Africa.

Fr Page became Rare Books Librarian at the National Library of Australia (NLA) in 1968, and was the NLA's liaison officer in Europe from 1975 to 1978. He was ordained a priest in the Society of Missionaries of Africa in 1986 and spent 12 years as a missionary in Burkina Faso. He later became the society's archivist and librarian in Rome and published several studies of the presses founded and run by the order.

This Foxcroft Lecture was held on 11 November 2010.