CHARLES STITZ IN BIBLIONEWS, JUNE 2019, ISSUE 42, P86 gives a fascinating account of some significant Australian book collectors.
Stitz begins by describing how he got into the book selling game and then how he got interested in collectors and their books (‘an association copy’). This association copy with its bookplate, signature or inscription, could have more value depending upon the fame of the one time owner.
This interest led Stitz to his five volume work covering 300+ collectors associated with Australia. Naturally the Australian book collectors : some noted Australian book collectors & collections of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was published in a limited edition hardback (500 copies) and a half-leather boxed set (10 copies). In Biblionews, Stitz looks briefly as what he calls ‘a few of the more interesting collectors’. There are 10. To whet your appetite to follow up these very interesting accounts of collection building, here are a summary of a sample:
William Dixson, also a beneficiary of family wealth from British Tobacco holdings, was interested especially in the sea voyages, languages of the First Peoples here and in the Pacific generally. He used Angus & Robertson, Dymock’s and Melbourne’s A.H. Spencer to locate rare items of Australiana. His collection became the Dixson Library in the (SLNSW);
Father Leo Hayes, built a collection from the age of seven, on rare but not valuable books. His good eye was supplemented by donations of books. Most of the material was gathered in Queensland. His collection was donated to the Fryer Library at the University of Queensland;
David Bremer, was a solicitor who was a leading collector of Australiana in the 1980s. He put more emphasis on condition than others. His collection was sold at auction by his principal creditor;
Joyce Thorpe Nicholson, publisher, was inspired by Germaine Greer’s The female eunuch to collect feminist literature. She did this and donated it to the Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne.
If you track down the article you can read the stories of Dixson, Hayes, Bremer and Nicholson in more depth, and also about Dame Mabel Brookes, Rodney Davidson, Sophie Ducker, Dorothea McKellar, David Mitchell and George Morrison. If you need help finding it, make a comment in the section below and we should be able to assist.