Rare Books Workshop

Take a deep dive into the University of Sydney Library's treasures!
Manuscripts? Rare books? Historians and literature scholars have been accessing these materials for years, but it’s time we bring a new disciplinary perspective to the unique collections in Fisher Library.

Who: Academic staff currently employed or affiliated at the University of Sydney
When: Friday 26 August 2022, 11:30am-1pm
Where: Rare Books and Special Collections, Fisher Library, Camperdown Campus

Manuscripts and rare books are typically considered the domain of historians. What use is a poem to an engineer, or a travel diary to a radiographer? Why would a mathematician be interested in drawings of Angkor, or a sociologist in temple mural plates? Plenty, as it turns out!

We’ve partnered with the Rare Books and Special Collections team at Fisher Library to show you how these precious materials can be used in your research as well as your teaching.

From medical reports, maps, sci-fi novels and architectural diagrams to pamphlets, palm leaf manuscripts, student minutes, and deeply personal photo albums, we’ve curated an astonishing collection of resources to get you thinking about Southeast Asia—and your own research and teaching—in an entirely new light. They illuminate concepts of power and colonialism, gender relations, technology and innovation, the more-than-human-world, sanitation and health, and more.

This session will offer privileged behind-the-scenes access to the Library’s unique collections, as well as detailed guidance on how to incorporate these materials into your own research, teaching and practice. Only a restricted number of places are available so make sure to register early!

Applications are now closed.


Further information

To be eligible for this workshop, applicants must be:

  • a SSEAC member (free to join
  • an academic staff currently affiliated with or employed at the University of Sydney
  • conducting research on any of the countries within Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam), or Southeast Asia as a region
  • located in or able to travel to Sydney (we will not provide financial support to any participant wishing to come from outside Sydney)
  • fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and able to show proof of vaccination*

* A fully vaccinated person is a person who has received the number of doses required for a complete course of a COVID-19 vaccine. For further information on vaccination requirements please visit the Australian Government website.

Applications are now closed.

Please note places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Make sure to register early to secure your spot. 

Please email any queries about the workshop and the registration process to sseac@sydney.edu.au.


In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre reserves the right to cancel this event on short notice. The Sydney Southeast Asia Centre will be closely monitoring the situation and following NSW Health Advice to assess all risks associated with the workshop, and will notify participants of any changes to the program. In participating in this workshop, all individuals will be required to follow social distancing and good hygiene practices so as to reduce the risk of infection with COVID-19.