Who uses Special Collections? And why? And what research results emanate from physically examining books and manuscripts? These questions formed the basis of the forthcoming exhibition, beginning on 10 June 2016, at the de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, University of Otago. The exhibition, entitled Scholarly Favourites. Researching in Special Collections, reveals a variety of readers, and an equally wide variety of books and manuscripts used. In most cases the item was used for research; in others the item was a pure favourite, a work that resonated with the reader's sense of being. The book or manuscript had become important to them.
Each reader was asked to contribute 150 words on 'their' chosen book; the exhibition: Scholarly Favourites. Researching in Special Collections is the result.
The items selected were from the diverse collections within Special Collections: Brasch, de Beer, Shoults, Truby King, Pulp & Science Fiction, Monro, and Stack. Notable items include Albinus's spectacular Tabulae Sceleti et Musculorum Corporis Humani (1747); Augustus Hamilton's The Art Workmanship of the Maori Race in New Zealand (1901); Johannes Wolleb's Compendium Theologiae Christianae (1642); Gregory M. Mathews's Supplement to The Birds of Norfolk & Lord Howe Islands and the Australasian South Polar Quadrant (1928); the scurrilous Alvin Purple (1974); and Egypt and the Sudan: Handbook for Travellers (1929). Please enjoy what others have researched and enjoyed.