From tablet to codex & beyond: the history of the book
Join Senior Librarian Dr Anna Welch to discover how the physical form of the book has changed in ingenious ways over time.
From a 4,000-year-old Cuneiform tablet to ancient scrolls, from the Roman codex to contemporary book art – each change in form has revolutionised the way we take in information and ideas.
You'll also glimpse exquisite medieval manuscripts (ours is the largest collection in Australia) and other significant forms of the book, including a Torah on loan from the Jewish Museum of Australia, and outstanding 17th and 18th-century bindings from our Emmerson collection of rare books.
All of these items are on display in our one-of-a-kind World of the book exhibition, celebrating the unique place that books hold in our minds and hearts.
More to explore
- Discover some of the precious collections whose books featured in this video, including the History of the book, medieval manuscripts and the Emmerson collection of rare books.
- Marvel at our Books and ideas online gallery showcasing sacred texts, banned books and early printed books.
- Explore a wealth of ideas and imagination in World of the book.
- Listen to a radio program on unlocking the mysteries of cuneiform tablets (opens in BBC website).