tristram shandy first edition
Original Published Date: 
Friday, May 31, 2019

A new $247,000 Linkage Projects grant awarded to a Newcastle University research team led by Professor Rosalind Smith will examine, with a view to making it more accessible, the first and only early modern archive of rare books and manuscripts to be acquired by an Australian institution.

In 2015, the State Library of Victoria, a partner organisation on this project, received the bequest of the Emmerson Collection—a national treasure of over 5000 early modern rare books and manuscripts, assembled over a lifetime by the late John Emmerson QC. The material includes original documents related to the English Civil War, early modern English literature, and seventeenth-century political and legal history.

Bringing together a team of experts in early modern studies and the digital humanities along with specialist library staff, this project will uncover the contents and scope of the collection and promote its international scholarly significance to the wider world. In doing so, it will develop new digital tools designed to unlock the value of this unique public resource for a wide range of end-users.

Photo credit: 

A first edition of Tristram Shandy. Credit: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).