Two volumes of poetry and prose by Robert Burns given as a farewell gift to a Scottish immigrant bound for Newcastle in 1876 are among the treasures

Book fair treasures

31 July 2013

Two volumes of poetry and prose by Robert Burns given as a farewell gift to a Scottish immigrant bound for Newcastle in 1876 are among the treasures at this year's University of Newcastle Book Fair.

According to Mr Vic Levi, President of the Friends of the University, the leather bound books were presented to Mr William Muir who worked his passage to Australia and then spent 42 years in the postal service, most of them at Newcastle Post Office. 

"The inscription on the books reads – Presented to Mr William Muir in May 1876 at Dundee on the occasion of his leaving for Australia by a few Brither Scots," Mr Levi said. 

The volumes are just two of the many thousands of items which will go on sale at the Book Fair in the University's Great Hall from August 10 to 17. 

Organised every two years by the Friends of the University, the fair will be open between 10am and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday and 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, with trading extended to 7pm on Thursday. 

Proceeds go towards funding much needed student scholarships and special building projects at the University. 

The Friends of the University have raised close to $1 million for the University. 

"Other rare items to go on sale are a Beatles Collection which includes a beautifully preserved box set of 13 LPs with the records and spectacular jackets in near new condition," Mr Levi said. 

"The records, all the Beatles' British LPs, sold for $319 in the late 1970s. Also included in the collection are 101 Beatles Songs for Buskers, a video titled The Compleat Beatles and a set of press cuttings from 1971 about Paul McCartney." 

Other collectors' items include: 

  • an amazing collection of more than 200 Phantom comics, annual specials from 1997 to 2011, the Phantom Encyclopedia and replica editions
  • 18 first editions of books by Ion Idriess
  • a wonderfully preserved copy of Thackeray's Vanity Fair dated 1915 and illustrated with beautiful, tissue-guarded colour plates
  • an 1867 Bible
  • a Royal collection for the monarchists which includes a 'picture pageant' of Queen Mary's years. 

The Book Fair runs from 10-17 August between 10am and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday and 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, with trading extended to 7pm on Thursday.

Contact: Vic Levi
Contact Phone: +612 4946 8859
Contact Email: media@newcastle.edu.au