Posted by: Lisa Hill | October 25, 2021

SLV Rare Book Club launch

The State Library of Victoria (SLV) launched its online Rare Book Club today.

It’s a new show-and-tell video series featuring the library’s resident experts and some of the most unique and extraordinary rare books in its world class collection.

In episode one, Anna Welch, Senior Librarian, History of the Book and Arts, provides an intimate look at a precious medieval manuscript that was originally housed in the famed Laurentian Medici Library in Florence, Italy.

This ornate 15th-century volume is thought to have been created as a wedding gift for Lorenzo de Medici himself, a member of the most powerful family in Renaissance Florence.

Here’s the first episode!


The library is closed at the moment, but with vaccination rates hurtling towards 80% and beyond, it won’t be long before we can visit!


  1. Do you have to check your pencils and coat outside the room, when you sit down to view the video/presentations?


    • Ha ha, no we don’t, and as a veteran of looking at these wonderful books during Rare Book Week, I can truthfully say that in some ways this is better, because you can see the book close up.
      OTOH there is nothing like being in the presence of the real thing.


  2. What a stunning book, in such amazingly preserved condition! Thanks for sharing Lisa.


  3. What a lovely idea and a lovely film – thank you for sharing!


    • The first time I saw any of these very old books in the SLV collection was before the Internet transformed our lives and I would never have imagined being able to share something like this around the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A great start by Anna to this new SLV series. I can also say that we are hoping that we will be able to put on some Melbourne Rare Book Week live events in 2022, including chances to visit some of the SLV rarities with Anna and Des..
    Chris Browne


  5. What a treasure. Thanks for sharing it.


    • Hi Fay, If you sign up to the SLV newsletter, I think you will receive an email every time they do a new one.


  6. Gorgeous, thanks for sharing. I’m surprised though that she touches and leafs through this 14th century book without gloves


    • I admit, I wondered about that too…


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