Rare Book Auction

Rare Book Auction Date

Friday 3 May 2019  6pm Start
Fryer Library, The University of Queensland, St Lucia
Auction Lots are available for viewing at the Fryer Library (for one hour, on the day).  
Precious books from 2017's Auction ready for viewing and sale. Photograph by Geoff Lawrence.

What is the Rare Book Auction

At each UQ Alumni Book Fair, a major auction is held for the extraordinary finds – the antiquities, the alluring, the curious and the fascinating books that have a value beyond that great holiday read. A gift to others, or a gift to yourself. These are the books that are certainly worth collecting. 

            And what makes them so special? 

Well, it could be their rarity, their provenance, their artistic value, their local historical significance, their academic influence, or even quality of their printing and binding. For more information regarding a book’s value, please check out Sotheby’s guide to rare books.

Thanks to the eagle eyes of The Books Team Volunteers, we have a number of precious tomes to be sold at our Rare Book Auction.

If you have never experienced the excitement, the thrill of a real life auction, then here is your chance. In 2017, there were over 150 lots that went under the hammer. The possibilities are high that there will be something for everyone.

If you are unable to attend in person, we are able to facilitate absentee bidding either through telephone, or through the use of absentee bidding forms completed prior to auction. Available here.

Funds raised from the Rare Book Auction go towards scholarships, bursaries and research grants to help further the education of students at The University of Queensland. 

In 2017, an excess of $13,000 was raised on the night and as such has become an essential fund-raising event during the Biennial Book Fair. 

Be part of the 2019 Rare Book Auction, where buying a book equals giving someone an education.  


Student Volunteer (L) and Bruce Blocksidge, Auctioneer at work during the 2017 Rare Book Auction.

If you would like to see the 2107 Rare Book Auction Catalogue, please click here.

If you would like read more about our 2017 Rare Book Auction, please click here.


Our Recent Discovery

Recherches Arithmetiques by Carl Friedrich Gauss

The Books Team has discovered a very exciting addition to the rare books collection.

To date, their research has identified only six copies in the world, including one in The Library of Congress and one held by The Royal Society.

A book by Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855), a mathematical genius in his time. He is credited with the definition of The Method of Least Squares, which is widely used for fitting lines and curves to discrete sets of data.

The provenance and value is yet to be determined. Watch this space for further developments in the research for this book.


Binder view of Recherches Arithmetiques

If you would like to keep up-to-date with discoveries and books that will be presented for sale, please join our Facebook and Instagram pages.

If you would like to see a sneak peek into the rooms where our Rare Books get reviewed, please click here. This video was taken prior to the last Rare Book Auction in 2017.

Professor Peter Høj – UQ Vice-Chancellor and President, pictured with Jan Thompson – Rare Books Co-convenor, at the viewing prior to the 2017 Rare Book Auction. Photograph by Geoff Lawrence.