Rare Books Lectures

The Melbourne Law School Rare Books and Legal History Lecture Series was launched in 2002 to promote and encourage research into the Rare Book Collection.

The lecture series also aims to use the collection as a starting point for more general discussions of subjects such as:

  • Legal, business and economic history
  • Early history and development of the Law School
  • Publishing and book selling in Australia.

Previous Lectures in the Series

Speaker Lecture titleDateAccess
Katy Barnett The Weird and Wonderful World of Animals and the Law

Tuesday, 19 September, 2023

6PM - 7PM

Details and booking 
Dr Andrew Godwin William Ah Ket - His Cases and Career 2 March 2022 Watch the video recording (62 min)
Read the Lecture (PDF, 210K)     
Austin Lovegrove Writing About Enlightenment and Criminal Justice: The Macquarie Story as a History Tale for Today 12 September 2019 Read the Lecture, (PDF, 249K)
Ann Genovese Vulnerable Law Sources, and How to Take Care of Them 25 October 2018 Watch the video recording (58 min)
Michael Widener Picturing the Law 18 May 2017 Watch the video recording (61 min)
Professor Mark Lunney A very Australian Story: Political Libels and the Conscription Referendums of the First World War 21 July 2016    
Dr Julie Evans Attending to Place in the Academic life: Telling the Story of the 1881 Coranderrk Enquiry 23 July 2015  
Dr John Waugh The Hanged and the Saved: Death and Mercy in Colonial Victoria 24 July 2014 Podcast link (MP3, 49 min)
Professor Travis McDade The Book Theft Century: A Lament 25 July 2013  
Bryan A. Garner The Utility and Pleasure of Collecting Antiquarian Lawbooks 26 July 2012  
Dr Shaunnagh Dorsett Why archive? The New Zealand Lost Cases project 27 October 2011  
Professor Michael Bryan The Modern History and Contemporary Issues of Law Reporting: from 1850 to the Online Revolution 18 November 2010 Article (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Professor Emeritus Wilfrid Prest William Blackstone: Lawyer and Judge 29 October 2009  
Professor Michael Bryan Early English Law Reporting 12 November 2008 Article (PDF, 200K)
Professor Emeritus Wilfrid Prest Blackstone's Books 15 November 2006  
Professor John M Bennett Judicial Biography: Does it Matter? The Making of 'Lives of the Australian Chief Justices' 24 May 2005  
Roger Stoddard F.O.J. Smith and William Willis: Two Lawyer-Book Collectors in Nineteenth-Century Portland, Maine 14 October 2004 Read the pamphlet via the library catalogue
Michael Piggott Preserving Legal History: The University of Melbourne's Law Archives 11 May 2004  
Dr John Emmerson QC The First English Law Books 12 November 2003  
Professor Wallace Kirsop Buying Law Books in Nineteenth Century Melbourne 8 April 2003 Read the pamphlet via the library catalogue
Professor Robin Sharwood Revealing Hidden Treasures 17 October 2002