Level 3 Mortlock Wing State Library of South Australia North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000
Robert Dettman Wall map

Rare Books Group

The RGSSA Treasures project progress report

Hugh Orr

The Treasures Project was initiated in early 2023 with the aim of showing the public - and members - some of the remarkable items in the RGSSA library collection.

These items came to the RGSSA largely from the York Gate Library and the Gill Library. The York Gate Library was assembled by Mr William Silver a wealthy London merchant and purchased in1905. The Gill Library was assembled by Thomas Gill and acquired in 1891 and 1923.

The RGSSA library as a whole has been described as "an internationally important treasure worth millions of dollars" and again "The Library holds one of the most comprehensive collections of rare atlases in the world, comparing in scope, for example, to the holdings of the US Library of Congress".  (from Significance Assessment Report 2008, by Sue Marsden)

Hugh Orr will describe the process by which treasures were selected and placed on the web. This involved writing brief descriptions of each item, photographing them (by Robert Dettman) and then placing them on the RGSSA web site (by Melissa Gibbs). At the end of 2023 close to 50 treasures had been placed on the web and the aim is that sometime in 2024 we there will be 100 on display in this way.

Hugh's detailed involvement with this project has enabled him to get to know many of our outstanding treasures for the first time. He has been so impressed by what he has seen that he would like to share this experience with others. So he will have some of these treasures - particularly from the Rare Book Room - for members to view.

Do not miss this unique opportunity!

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To help advance the Society’s objectives will you also consider making a tax deductible donation to the Society’s Trust Funds to promote geographical learning?

The Royal Geographical Society of South Australia Inc. Trust Funds are to support, sponsor, encourage or promote projects or other activities for scientific study of any or all aspects of geography and/or the educational applications or dissemination of the findings thereof. The funds either provide for growth in our geographical Library knowledge and information services; or are applied to more general geographical activities, awards and scholarship.

Date and Time

28 March 2024
10:30 am

Jervois Room, Ground floor, Mortlock Wing, State Library of South Australia

Members: $Gold coin
Non members: $5