What’s On

Click on an event below to find out more about it. Events of the RHSV can also be found in our What’s On bulletin and History News.

Grant Applications Open – 1 March 2017 : Holsworth Local Heritage Trust
1 July 2017: Excursion: Special tour of the Australian Club
3 July 2017 : What will the rare book of the future look like? (Melbourne Rare Book Week event)
4 July 2017 : Rare advice : How to settle in Victoria (Melbourne Rare Book Week event)
18 July 2017 : La Mama
22 July 2017 : History Victoria Support Group seminar at Bairnsdale

RHSV Members only excursion:

Special Tour of the Australian Club

Sat 1 July 2017, 10.30 am
Venue: 110 William Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Cost: Free
Bookings: 9326 9288 or office@historyvictoria.org.au

The Australian Club, on the corner of William and Little Collins Streets, was established in 1878 by a group of Melbourne gentlemen who disliked the journey in bad weather (due to flooding) to the Melbourne Club on Collins Street. The Australian Club with its grand and highly decorative Renaissance revival architecture and ornate interior soon became, and remains, an impressive entity of its own, now holding an Australian Heritage Listing. This is a rare opportunity to experience ‘Marvellous Melbourne’ alive in the 21st Century. Morning tea will be served.

New members are most welcome: By taking out a membership prior to Wednesday 28 June you are most welcome to join us for this special event.

On confirmation of your booking please meet outside the Australian Club, 110 William St, Melbourne VIC 3000, at 10.15am.


Ephemera Society of Victoria presentation:

What will the rare book of the future look like?

Mon 3 July 2017, 10-11 am
Venue: 239 A’Beckett Street, Melbourne
Cost: Free
Speaker: Mimmo Cozzolino

In 2012 Mimmo Cozzolino designed and published 9 illustrated books for a master of fine art project titled: “After I die. Archives, Autobiography, Photography”. The books were printed digitally in quantities of 5 to 12. One set resides in the SLV Rare Books library.
In this presentation he will briefly show the books then explore if this type of book might become a rare book of the future. Mimmo is an Italian born, Australian visual artist and co-author of Symbols of Australia (Penguin 1980).


Rare advice: How to settle in Victoria

Tue 4 July 2017, 1-2 pm (refreshments from 12.30pm)
Venue: 239 A’Beckett Street, Melbourne
Cost: Free
Speaker: Dr Andrew Lemon

Wise words from ‘Rusticus’ from intending colonial farmers

‘Better to appear in a rough exterior than not at all,’ Rusticus explained of his book How to Settle in Victoria at the outset. ‘The endeavour has been to render easy to the apprehension of the rustic and unlettered immigrant.’

One of the rarest local titles in the Royal Historical Society of Victoria collection –
Ferguson no. 8079 – this slim 1855 volume tells all to the New Chum on land, gardens (when and what to plant), the vine and fruit trees, buildings, livestock, soil, climate and
most importantly manure. Historian Andrew Lemon, author of a forthcoming biography
of former Age garden writer T.R. Garnett, will display this well-used copy and discuss
the place of surveyor and engineer, William Snell Chauncy or ‘Rusticus’, in the Garden
State’s garden history.

The full title of this publication is: How to Settle in Victoria, or, Instructions on the purchase and occupation of the land: With observations on gardening and farming; the growth of the vine, and other fruit trees, the nature and quality of the Australian soils, and on the use of manures. To which is added a rural calendar, description of the climate, and other useful information… Slater, Williams and Hodgson, 94 Bourke
Street East, Melbourne, and Mostyn Street, Castlemaine, 1855.


La Mama

Tue 18 July 2017, drinks 5.15pm, lecture 5.45pm
Venue: 239 A’Beckett Street, Melbourne
Cost: Members free,  non-members $10
Speaker: Adam Cass

La Mama, a new book by Adam Cass commemorating the fifty-year history of Australia’s most iconic theatre.

When Betty Burstall founded La Mama Theatre in Carlton in 1967, she opened up a new Australian cultural landscape. So many of our playwrights, actors, filmmakers, poets, musicians, etcetera, have found their voices at La Mama. Those early years functioned like a kind of ‘big bang’, sparking a universe which continues to expand to this day. That’s the easy part of telling a story about La Mama, but it isn’t what interested me when I set out to write this book.
I see the true history of La Mama as a progression of ephemeral moments. Each La Mama play exists only briefly before disappearing forever, and yet for the time of their making, and for the time it takes to watch them, they have the power to profoundly transform their makers and audience in ways that arguably the output of no other Australian theatre can match.
In trying to capture the ephemeral, this book became a history not of big moments, important people or social shifts, but a story of what La Mama feels like. What does it feel like to work there, or watch there? What did it feel like fifty years ago, or forty? What might it feel like tomorrow? And why and how is any of this important?