Earth Sciences Rare Book Collection, University of Melbourne

The Earth Sciences Rare Book Collection at the University of Melbourne is an important research collection of rare and early geological and palaeontological texts. Approximately 65% of the items are the only known copy available in Australia, thus rendering this a collection of national significance.

The collection includes many seminal works from the 19th and early 20th centuries. It has particularly strong holdings of early palaeontological works in English, French & German. The collection also include significant runs of many early periodical titles. The collection’s origins as the private collections and personal libraries of individuals such as Frederick McCoy and Ernest Skeats, early professors at the University who were eminent in their field, mean the collection is significant to the history of the study of earth sciences not only at this institution but more broadly.


The Earth Sciences Rare Book collection was fully catalogued in 2007-2008, thanks to generous financial support from the Russell and Mab Grimwade Miegunyah Fund. It is included in the combined University of Melbourne Library catalogue at