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Bibliographical and textual studies

Centre for Bibliographical and Textual Studies

Director: Dr Bryan Coleborne

Graduate coordinator: Dr Bryan Coleborne

The Centre for Bibliographical and Textual Studies was established late in 1981 to coordinate and expand long-standing activities in textual editing, enumerative and descriptive bibliography and printing, publishing and bookselling history being carried out within the university. The committee charged with the management of the centre includes the heads (or their nominees) of the departments of Asian Languages and Studies; English; German Studies and Slavic Studies; Classics and Archaeology; History; and Romance Languages; the university librarian or nominee; and nominees of the faculties of Business and Economics, Law and Science.

Members of staff associated with the centre are taking major responsibilities in the Australia's Book Heritage Resources Project (formerly the Early Imprints Project, aimed at producing a machine-readable catalogue of all pre-1801 letterpress items held in Australia), in the publications program of the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand, whose Bulletin has had a long association with the university, and in the working of the Ancora Press, a bibliographical handpress in the basement of the Main Library. The centre is the national headquarters for HOBA, the History of the Book in Australia project, a major collaborative research program for which detailed planning commenced in 1992. The rare book room in the university library and a respectable collection of secondary material, including backruns of the major bibliographical journals, support the centre's research and teaching.

The centre has a publishing program, which includes the management of Naturae, an occasional publication touching broadly upon the history, literature, biography, bibliophily, and fine art of natural history. It is involved in joint publication with other bodies, such as the National Centre for Australian Studies and the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand.

The centre organises regular seminars given by visiting bibliographers and `work-in-progress' seminars for the benefit of staff and students.

Special workshops in bibliography and textual editing are occasionally offered to graduate students from Monash and beyond. The first took place in May 1985.

Graduate students enrolled for the MA or PhD in any associated department or faculty are welcome to participate in the centre's work. In particular they should find in and through it help and advice with problems in textual editing and physical bibliography. Inquiries should be addressed to the head of the centre.

The centre coordinates a program for the research degree of Master of Arts by coursework and thesis in the area of bibliographical and textual studies. This program normally consists of four subjects, comprising three core subjects and one selected from a schedule, and a thesis to the value of ninety-six points.

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Authorised by the Academic Registrar December 1996