I'll write more about this later, but just before the end of last year, I wrapped my white-gloved hands around an original copy of The Guardian: A Tale by the little-known Australian author Anna-Maria Bunn. Though it is set in Ireland, it is the first Australian novel published on the mainland (Tasmania got there first in the publishing stakes) in 1838.
This copy has been through the ringer, with pages missing and replaced by weird photographs of the pages in its place. Alas, the text has never been digitised and the conditions under which is can be viewed are not entirely conducive to a sit-down read.
Take a look at it. Click on the image below to see more.
As a piece of Australian history, it's a pretty incredible artefact. I'll be doing more with this research later this year at if:book, but I was just flicking through these images and I thought they would make a nice gallery post to the blog.
So this is that.