Browse our Publications

Sydney University Museums produces a range of books, catalogues and other scholarly works. We currently have a range of titles available for sale at the Nicholson Museum and online via bookstore.

Titles available from the:

Into the Light: 150 years of cultural treasures at the University of Sydney

Malouf et al 2010 Into the Light

Introduction by D. Malouf; essays by J. Philp, A. Stephen and M. Turner

The University of Sydney has some of the largest and richest cultural heritage collections of any university in the nation. More than 700,000 works are held in the university's Macleay Museum, Nicholson Museum and University Art Collection. With collections dating from antiquity to the modern age, from every continent and including cultural, artistic, scientific, and natural materials, they form a significant part of the national heritage.

Into the Light is published on the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Nicholson Museum, the first university museum in Australia. Richly illustrated, with essays and captions written by curatorial staff and experts in their fields, Into the Light provides a glimpse into those collection and some of the ways they interconnect across disciplinary boundaries. The book includes an introduction by David Malouf and more than a hundred highlights of the collections, photographed by Michael Myers.

Price $49.95 (plus postage if order is to be mailed)
175 pages, soft cover.
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University Art Gallery

J.W. Power Abstraction-Création Paris 1934

J W Power catalogue

A.D.S. Donaldson & Ann Stephen

This illustrated book was produced in conjunction with a major exhibition J.W. Power Abstraction-Création Paris 1934 on display at the University of Sydney Art Gallery from the 24 September 2012 - 25 January 2013. The culmination of many years of research and published by the Power Institute, this catalogue is a landmark publication complete with new archival scholarship and a major essay by Gladys Fabre, the leading authority on the Abstraction-Création artists association, published for the first time in English.

Price $39.95 (plus postage if order is to be mailed)
116 pages, hardback.

Vision in Motion

Vision in Motion Cover

Narelle Jubelin
Contributors: Jacky Redgate, Luke Parker and Ann Stephen

This book surveys three decades of Sydney artist Narelle Jubelin’s work, from her needlework panorama of colonial monuments to videos tracing the ways the skyline has been redrawn by modernism in the twentieth century. It reveals her extended dialogue with modernist architecture and the built environment, and includes a pinhole-camera photo-essay by artist Jacky Redgate.

Price $20.00 (plus postage if order is to be mailed)
100 pages, hardback.
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Nicholson Museum

Alpha Omega: tales of transformation

Alpha Omega book cover

Michael Turner

The 24 letters of the Greek alphabet introduce 24 stories of transformation and metamorphosis from Greek and Roman history and mythology. Each story is illustrated with one or more objects from across the collections of the University of Sydney held in the Nicholson Museum, the Macleay Museum and the University Art Gallery.

In 2018, these same three collections will themselves be transformed into the new Chau Chak Wing Museum. This final Nicholson Museum exhibition represents the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega of what has been and what will be.

Price $29.95 (plus postage if order is to be mailed)
94 pages, hardback.
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Aphrodite's Island: Australian Archaeologists in Cyprus


Dr Craig Barker

This lavishly illustrated catalogue accompanies the Nicholson Museum exhibition of the same name, and presents selected highlights from the Nicholson Museum’s extensive collection of Cypriot artefacts, from the Early Bronze Age to the Middle Ages.

2013 marks the centenary of the birth of Professor James Stewart, who excavated on the island before and after the Second World War and developed the Nicholson Museum’s collection, but the legacy of Australian archaeological investigations on the island continues today. Fieldwork projects by Australian universities continue, including the Nicholson Museum sponsored excavations at Nea Paphos; the Hellenistic-Roman capital of the island. This catalogue celebrates the Cypriot archaeological collections of the Nicholson Museum, and explore the stories of the Australian researchers who have investigated the island’s history.

Featuring essays on Cypriot archaeology and art by Craig Barker, Judith Powell, Jenny Webb, Robert Merrillees, Agata Mvra-Montoya, Ina Kenrberg, Diana Wood Conroy and an introduction by the President of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias.

Price $19.95 (plus postage if order is to be mailed)
74 pages, soft cover.

50 Objects 50 Stories: Extraordinary Curiosities from the Nicholson Museum

50 objects 50 stories

Michael Turner (photography Rowan Conroy)

50 Objects 50 Stories: Extraordinary Curiosities from the Nicholson Museum is the book of the Nicholson Museum exhibition 50 Objects 50 Stories and of the ABCNews24 TV series Extraordinary Curiosities.

It is not about the most important, or the most beautiful things in the Nicholson Museum. It is about objects with a story to tell. Beginning in 1860 with antiquities from the original donation of Sir Charles Nicholson, it journeys through to the present day. Along the way, the stories introduce us to a cast of characters, curators and collectors who have helped shape the museum and its collection.

Sir Charles Nicholson, founder of the museum, a man of dramatically humble origins (whose story is told), newspaper reporter Edward Reeve, the museum’s first curator (1860-1889 in three terms), Enoch Powell, eminent Greek scholar, later radical English right-wing politician (curator 1938-39) and James Stewart, Cypriot archaeologist, prisoner of war and cat lover (curator 1954-1962). There are adventurous women such as Agatha Christie and the intrepid Mary Woodhouse. There are famous archaeologists Sir Austen Henry Layard, Sir Henry Wellcome, Sir Flinders Petrie, Vere Gordon Childe, Dame Kathleen Kenyon, Sir Max Mallowan, Sir Mortimer Wheeler and some pretty dreadful ones like Luigi Palma di Cesnola. And there are famous men and women Sir William Hamilton and his scandalous wife Emma, Thomas Hope, Orson Welles and D.H. Lawrence. All have a part to play as these wonderful stories unfold.

Price $29.95 (plus postage if order is to be mailed)
130 pages, hardback.

Exposed: Photography and the Classical Nude

Exposed:Photography and the Classical Nude

M. Turner, with contributions from A.J.L. Blanshard, A. Carden-Coyne, and W.K. Zewadski

Exposed: Photography and the Classical Nude is a celebration of the naked human body in photography, and of the influence of the Classical ideal of Ancient Greece and Rome on that art form. Ranging from the beautiful to the bizarre, from the provocative to the thought provoking, it brings together 98 photographs from 61 photographers including Fox Talbot, Muybridge, von Gloeden, Riefenstahl, Cartier-Bresson, Chim, Brassai, Doisneau, List and Dupain.

Price AUD $29.95 (plus postage if order is to be mailed)
141 pages, hard back.

Beauty and Betrayal: ancient and neo-classical jewellery

Beauty and Betrayal

E. Bollen, with contributions from M. Turner and MM. Jackson

Jewellery can be a potent symbol of protection or of power. It can speak of an individual’s status, wealth, taste, education, and international connections. Or it can be desired or worn simply because it is beautiful. But there is a different side to jewellery that is made apparent in Greek myths: its beauty can often lead to betrayal. Desire for jewellery blinded Eriphyle to her duty to protect her husband, Jason once in possession of the Golden Fleece abandoned the woman who had helped him procure it, and Helen and Paris’ love based on beauty and desire brought war and devastation to thousands.

Collected together in this exhibition and catalogue are over 70 objects from the Nicholson Museum, other Australian university museums and public and private collections. Each piece displays the techniques of the jeweller, indicates the varied purpose of adornments and above all captures the ageless appeal of jewellery.

Price $20.00 (plus postage if order is to be mailed)
Exhibition catalogue. 75 pages, full colour, paperback

Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum

Front Cover of the Nicholson Museum CVA. The Red Figure Pottery of Apulia

The Nicholson Museum, The University of Sydney. The Red Figure Pottery of Apulia
A. Cambitoglou and M. Turner
Sydney 2008

This, the first Australian volume of the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum brings together 86 whole pots and fragments from the collection of Apulian red figure pottery in the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney. This volume is written by Alexander Cambitoglou, Director of the Australian Archaeological Insititute at Athens, and Michael Turner, Senior Curator of the Museum.

Limited edition of 500 copies

Price AUD $100.00 (plus postage if order is to be mailed)
Hardback, 105 Full Colour Plates, includes a CD of all plates and outline drawings.
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Ancient Voices - Modern Echoes: Theatre in the Greek World

Ancient Voices Modern Echoes

Exhibition Catalogue
J.R. Green, F. Muecke, K.N. Sowada, M. Turner and E. Bachmann

Sydney, 2003

This Catalogue presents the 45 objects on display in the Nicholson Museum's exhibition, 'Ancient Voices - Modern Echoes: Theatre in the Greek World'. The pieces include Attic and South Italian painted vases, terracotta figurines and bronze statuettes, some of which have never been published before. The catalogue is prefaced with three essays by Professor J.R. Green and F. Muecke on ancient theatre and the theatre site at Nea Paphos, Cyprus.

Price AUD$25.00 (plus postage if order is to be mailed)
88 pages, full colour, paperback
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Macleay Museum

Written in stone

Written in stone - Matt Poll

Exhibition catalogue
Matt Poll
Sydney, 2015

For Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today, stone tools are tangible evidence of occupation, ingenuity, resilience, and survival. This exhibition shows the remarkable diversity and proficiency of stone tool production across the Australian continent. With so much of our contemporary lives being written in the digital ether, what tangible evidence of our present society will exist in a thousand years’ time?

Price AUD $19.95 (plus postage if order is to be mailed)
95 pages, softcover.
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Stuffed, stitched and studied: Taxidermy in the 19th century

Stuffed, stitched and studied catalogue - Buy online

Exhibition catalogue
J. Philp, T. Gill, R. Blackburn and L. Lui-Chivizhe
Sydney, 2015

Taxidermy is the process of making a life-like sculpture of an animal from its own skin. To make an elephant one needs a wooden frame, a fish needs gentle stuffing, a kangaroo needs stuffing and wire too; for a caterpillar a small glass tube, a candle and cotton is required. This exhibition explores the methods and purposes of Australian 19th century taxidermy made for science.

Price AUD $19.95 (plus postage if order is to be mailed)
65 pages, softcover.
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Points of Focus: historic photographs from the Pacific

Points of Focus

Rebecca Conway
Exhibition catalogue
Sydney, 2014

Points of Focus: historic photographs from the Pacific, published in association with the Macleay Museum exhibition (1 March – 7 November 2014). explores the Pacific region, its peoples and histories, through photographs. Grouped into five themes – community, sea & land, governance, spirituality and the market – the book features a selection of over 100 images drawn exclusively from the Macleay Museum Historic Photograph Collection. Taken during the colonial era, the images span major historical events to the minutiae of everyday life, and include photographs from Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Samoa.

$19.95 (plus postage if order is to be mailed)
64 pages, full colour (black & white historic images), soft cover.
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Museum front cover

Robyn Stacey and Ashley Hay

A new book featuring over 100 stunning full-page images from one of Australia's leading photographers, accompanied by an engaging history from an acclaimed essayist and author.

$79.95 (plus postage if order is to be mailed)
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Collected: 150 years of Aboriginal art and artifacts at the Macleay Museum

Collected Cover

Susie Davies, (with essay by Rose Stack)
Published by University of Sydney, 2002
Softcover 108 pages

Collected is the first book to be published on the Macleay Museum’s important holdings of Australian Aboriginal art and artifacts. The book comprises 108 full colour plates, featuring some of Australia’s oldest bark paintings as well as shields, clubs, bags and body ornaments from the Macleay Museum’s historic collections. These artifacts, most of them collected in the second half of the nineteenth century, are show cased along with others collected in the twentieth century. These include a significant collection of bark paintings, pearl shell ornaments and a unique Wandjina figure. Supplements by about 30 historic photographs mainly from the Museum’s extensive collections, Collected highlights the rich artistic tradition of Aboriginal Australians.

Collected is an essential resource for museum curators, historians, anthropologists, collectors and all those interested in the rich material culture and artistic traditions of Aboriginal Australians.

$60.00 (plus postage if order is to be mailed)

Mr Macleay's Celebrated Cabinet

Peter Stanbury and Julian Holland
Published by the Macleay Museum, 1988.

The Macleay collections came to the University a hundred years ago. This book gives an account of the three Macleays who amassed the collections which remain the core of the Macleay Museum's holdings. This book explains the history of the University's acquisition and provides a sample of the rich diversity of one of the most important collections in Australia.

Available as a PDF download.