Rare Book Auction

The 2019 Rare Book Auction was held on 3rd May 2019,at UQ's Fryer Library

The 2019 Rare Book Auction Catalogue is still available here.  The Auction was held on Friday 3 May 2019 (viewing 4-6pm, Auction 6pm for 6:30pm start), at the Fryer Library, The University of Queensland, St Lucia. Absentee bids were accepted until 3pm local time on the day of the auction, using the ABSENTEE BID FORM 2019). For an online viewing of some of the tantalising lots which were available at the auction, click here. 

Precious books from 2017's Auction ready for viewing and sale. Photograph by Geoff Lawrence.

What is the Rare Book Auction

Every two years,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 Book Group 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 2019, there were over 140 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. 

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. 



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.


One of our recent discoveries

Recherches Arithmetiques by Carl Friedrich Gauss

The Book Group has discovered a number of very exciting books.

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.

Have a look at our Book Blog for more….


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.