Our Two Destinations

Art Gallery at Royal Park
2 Wellington Street LAUNCESTON TAS 7250 (Closest public parking is at Paterson Street West Car Park)

Museum at Inveresk
2 Invermay Road LAUNCESTON TAS 7248

QVMAG is open 10am to 4pm daily (closed Good Friday and Christmas Day).
Admission free.

T 03 6323 3777
The rare and heritage collections
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The rare and heritage collections held by the QVMAG Library constitute its most important book holdings.

Importantly, the Library holds what remains of a number of important colonial collections of northern and regional Tasmania.

The Library's various rare and heritage collections conform to the following criteria so far as composition and new acquisitions are concerned:

  • Items of significance to local history and heritage
  • Tasmanian publications that are 100 years or older
  • Nineteenth century Australian publications
  • Non-Australian titles published prior to 1800
  • Limited editions of some contemporary and older publications.

The QVMAG Library Rare Collection
The Rare Collection is the largest of all of the rare collections held by QVMAG Library. It consists of over 1,000 volumes that have been acquired by the Museum over many decades. The collection focuses mostly on Tasmanian history and the natural sciences, with the majority of the publications having being published in Australia or Tasmania. Many works, and especially the folio publications, are adorned with fine coloured illustrations.

The Convict Collection
This remarkable collection of 34 volumes once served time as part of the 19th century penal system that operated in Tasmania. Many of the collection's items are bibles and books on religious instruction and were used to guide convicts on the path of reform.

Thirty-two items held by the QVMAG Library were once located at: Port Arthur, Salt Water River Probation Station, Impression Bay, Cascades Probation Station and within the Convict Department itself. A further two items were, according to what written provenance exists, were used at the "Ross Prison Station" (i.e. the site of the present-day Ross Female Convict Station Historic Site).

An additional 40 surviving volumes of the Tasmanian convict libraries are held by other Tasmanian public collections: TMAG holds 17 volumes; TAHO 18 volumes; Launceston LINC 1 volume; Port Arthur Historical Site 4 volumes.

The Plomley Rare Collection
N.J.B. 'Brian' Plomley was an avid collector of rare books. His collection contains many interesting 19th century Australian and Tasmanian publications, including the infamous 1838 Dowling imprint of Dickens' Pickwick Papers. The collection includes many early accounts of the colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land.

The Plomley Rare Collection also specialises in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century publications on French and British voyages of discovery to Australia by explorers such as Cook, Peron, Baudin and D'Entrecasteaux.

The colonial collections of northern and regional Tasmania
Click the link above to explore what remains of various library and book collections of colonial Tasmania.

The Weindorfer Collection
The QVMAG Library holds a small collection of 32 items that once belonged to Gustav Weindorfer, the early naturalist and conservationist whose efforts were important in Cradle Mountain becoming a national park. The collection contains mostly natural sciences books on subjects such as botany as well as some texts in German (Weindorfer being Austrian-born).

There are also smaller rare book collections that accompany the Maddock, Rolph and Sims special collections.

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