Stuart Kells in conversation with Colin Steele



Stuart Kells and Colin Steele will be in conversation on Stuart's new book The Library. A Catalogue of Wonders, "a love letter to libraries not just as mere collections of books, but as magical, fabled places." Libraries are filled with magic. From the Bodleian, the Folger and the Smithsonian to the fabled libraries of middle earth, Umberto Eco's mediaeval library labyrinth and libraries dreamed up by J.R.R. Tolkien, Jorge Luis Borges and Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Stuart Kells explores the bookish places, real and fictitious, that continue to capture our imaginations. Research for this book included a world tour of famous libraries.

The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders is a fascinating and engaging exploration of libraries as places of beauty and wonder. The chapter, 'A Library With No Books', traces the sharing of stories-oral libraries-in indigenous Australian cultures,  It's a celebration of books as objects and an account of the deeply personal nature of these hallowed spaces by one of Australia's leading bibliophiles.

Stuart Kells is an author and book-trade historian. His 2015 book, Penguin and the Lane Brothers, won the Ashurst Business Literature Prize. An authority on rare books, he has written and published on many aspects of print culture and the book world. Stuart lives in Melbourne and is currently writing a book about Shakespeare's library.

Colin Steele, ANU Emeritus Fellow, was formerly ANU University Librarian and Assistant Librarian at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. He has visited many of the major libraries of the world, though not all covered in his book Major Libraries of the World. He is a  Fellow of  both the Australian and UK Library and Information Associations, as well as the Australian Academy of Humanities.

Book signings will take place at 5.30pm before the conversation and then again after. This event is free.