The Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand was founded in Melbourne in February 1969 after long discussions among bibliographers working in comparative isolation in cities of both countries. For a history of the Society, click here.
Modelled on the Bibliographical Society (UK) and on the Bibliographical Society of America, the Society has as its province all the studies that form part of or are related to physical bibliography: the history of printing, publishing, bookselling, typefounding, papermaking, bookbinding; palaeography and codicology; and textual bibliography. The Society also has an interest in the general field of reference bibliography, and was enthusiastically involved in documenting the holdings in Australia of pre-1800 books through the Australian Book Heritage Project (the Australian arm of the international Early Imprints Project).
No countries or periods are excluded from its preoccupations, which range from Italian and German incunabula to 19th and 20th century Australian and New Zealand publishers. In all these areas it seeks to encourage scholarly enquiry and thereby to improve the quality of bibliographical work being done in the two countries.
The membership of the Society is predictably diverse: academics drawn from a wide range of historical and literary disciplines, rare book librarians, collectors, printers interested in the history of their craft, antiquarian booksellers. Many of these people joined initially as student members before developing their career or collecting passion. Institutions interested in the Society’s publications may subscribe to them directly. The bond uniting all these members is concern for and interest in serious and scholarly bibliographical research. Find out more about joining BSANZ here.
A two-day conference is held once a year, often in conjunction with a seminar organised by an informal group of ANZ Rare Book and Special Collections librarians. Find out more about BSANZ conferences here.