Mirror of the world: books and ideas

Delight in the Mirror of the world: books and ideas exhibition, and discover the many rare and beautiful books held in our collections.

La fin du monde, Fernand Léger, 1919
01 January 201431 December 2016
Bookings not required. Tel 03 8664 7099 for more information.
Location Dome Galleries
Accessibility Has wheelchair access

Books have the power to spark the imagination and change the way we think. This exhibition showcases rare and significant works that trace the history of book design from medieval manuscripts to comics.

Discover stunning artwork alongside powerful words in this visual feast for book-lovers. Highlights include the exceptional art of La fin du monde (1919), illustrated by French Modernist Fernand Léger, and the intricate life-sized drawings in Birds of America (early 19th century), one of the Library’s most precious books.

Recent acquisitions and new stories are featured each year in this special exhibition, revealing different aspects of the Library’s Rare Books collection.

John Emmerson Collection

From 10 October onwards, the exhibition will feature highlights from the John Emmerson Collection, one of the world's most significant collections of rare English printed works. The books on display include the collected writings of King James I, printed in 1616 and given to his son Charles I, English Civil War publications about the trial and execution of King Charles I, and important early editions of literary masterpieces, including Milton’s Paradise lost and Cervantes’ Don Quixote.

Opening hours

This free exhibition is open 10am–5pm daily.