Project Gutenberg Australia
a treasure-trove of literature
treasure found hidden with no evidence of ownership
Rare and Important Books
A list of rare ands important books which have been converted to ebooks. As producers of ebooks, we at Project Gutenberg Australia are quick to acknowledge that whilst ebooks can reproduce the text and images of paper books they cannot provide the look, feel, smell and general aura of paper books. Nevertheless, a browse of some of the ebooks listed below will, we hope, provide the reader with some idea of the paper books from which the ebooks were produced. We hope to add to the list over time.
Darwin, C. R. 1859. On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: John Murray. [1st edition]
This, the first edition of Darwin's most famous work, was published 24 November 1859.
This ebook is provided by The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online, an amazing source of Darwin information.
Dennis, C. J. 1921. A Book for Kids. Australia: Angus and Robertson Ltd. [1st Edition]
The page images from this book are provided by the National Library of Austrtalia. From the link in the previous paragraph you can also go to the library's "digital Collections" (top left of page) which contain page images of many rare and important books.
In his time C J Dennis was one of Australia's most popular poets, though his work is less well known today. We have most of Dennis's books, available from Dennis's listing on our site.
At the end of this page is one of my favourite Dennis poems. Surely I am allowed a little self indulgence.
Flinders, Matthew. 1801. Observations on the Coasts of Van Diemen's Land on Bass's Strait and its Islands and on Part of the Coasts of New South Wales; Intended to Accompany the Charts of the Late Discoveries in those Countries. London: John Nichols. [Facsimile of 1st Edition] (No charts were present in the original publication.)
This unpretentious book of about 40 pages is available in other formats, from Flinders' listing on our site.
Also available is A Voyage to Terra Australis. This work, published in 1814, includes an account of Flinders' circumnavigation of Australia in 1801, 1802 and 1803, "undertaken for the purpose of completing the discovery of that vast country."
Heeres, J. E. 1899. The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765. London: Luzac & Co. [1st Edition]
The first authenticated landing on Australian soil, from the outside world, occurred in 1606 when Willem Janszoon, on board the Duyfken, charted about 300 km of the west coast of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. In 2006 Australians celebrated the 400th anniversary of the event.
Lawson, Henry. 1894. Short Stories in Prose and Verse. Sydney: L. Lawson. [1st Edition]
This pamphlet, as Lawson termed it, was published by his mother, Louisa Lawson. It was his first published book, although the individual pieces had all appeared previously in other publications. The Preface to the book provides the story.
Lawson is sometimes given the title of "Australia's Greatest Writer."
This ebook is available in other formats, together with most of Lawson's other works, at Lawson's listing on our site.
Hist! by C J Dennis. From A Book for Kids.
Hist! . . . . . . Hark!
Step . . . . . . light,
(Mo . . . . . . poke!)
Dear . . . . . . me!
Ssh! . . . . . . Soft!
Oo! . . . . . . Scat!
(Kok!. . . . . . Korrock!)
Shoo! . . . . . . Shoo!
Look! . . . . . . See!
Shout! . . . . . . Shout!
Laughed, we did, and chaffed, we did,
Last Updated 25 October 2009