The Monash University Library Rare Books Collection is comprised of materials considered rare because of their age, uniqueness or physical beauty. The collection holds over 170,000 items and is particularly strong in Australian and English literature and history produced between 1660 and 1800. There are also strengths in children's literature, science fiction, comics, fairy tales, French literature, Australiana, cookery, and artists' books. The collection continues to grow through the selection of material by the Rare Books librarians and through donations, in alignment with the Library's collection development policy.
The Sir Louis Matheson Library hosts two exhibitions each year featuring materials from its collections. These exhibitions enable the Library to engage with and share a wide variety of special items with students, scholars, and the general public.
Items from the Rare Books Collection and closed access items from the Asian Studies, Music and Multimedia, and the Ada Booth Collections are viewed in the Special Collections Reading Room. Members of the public, as well as the Monash community, are welcome to visit the Reading Room to view materials.
The Monash University Library Special Collections Reading Room is located on: