The Melbourne Athenaeum Inc.'s 2024 Annual General Meeting will be held at 1pm, Monday 15 April, in the Melbourne Athenaeum Library.

For more information please refer to the events page or speak to a staff member.

Since its inception in 2012, Melbourne Rare Book Week (MRBW) has become an important festival in Melbourne’s cultural life.

The current Program Director will reflect on the evolution of MRBW from the original concept to this tenth iteration of the festival. He will take a book collector’s view of its importance, as well as its international significance as a model for similar festivals.

Appropriately, the event is co-hosted by The Melbourne Athenaeum Library, one of the original and ongoing partners of MRBW.

Presented by Rare Books Melbourne in partnership with The Melbourne Athenaeum Library
Doors open at 6pm, event 6:30-7:30pm, Monday 22nd July. This is a free event but bookings are essential and can be made here

Melbourne has always had its underbelly of crime, inspiring crime fiction detectives from Mary Fortune and Fergus Hume to Peter Temple’s ‘Jack Irish’.

Join Jane, whose latest novel Murder in Punch Lane is a thriller inspired by real events and people in 1868 Melbourne, and Lucy, who in 2025 will publish Outrageous Fortunes, a co-written biography about crime-writer Mary Fortune and her criminal son George, in a conversation about the sins and secrets of the brash young 19th century goldfields city.

Presented by Rare Books Melbourne in partnership with The Melbourne Athenaeum Library
12:00-1:00pm, Saturday 20th July. This is a free event but bookings are essential and can be made here

Legendary Melbourne bookseller Mark Rubbo spent almost 50 years in the business until he retired as Readings managing director last year. From his days with one Readings’ outlet in Carlton to presiding over a chain of eight shops, he nurtured new Australian writers, worked to extend Melbourne’s cultural influence, and fought off a challenge from the Borders behemoth.

Text publisher Michael Heyward calls him one of the world’s great independent booksellers. He talks about his career and 50 years of Australian writing with author and literary columnist Jane Sullivan.

Presented by Rare Books Melbourne in partnership with The Melbourne Athenaeum Library
6:30-7:30pm, Friday 19th July. This is a free event but bookings are essential and can be made here

GOLD: An Animated Rhapsody, is a unique animated musical film and art exhibition inspired by a series of 10 watercolour paintings left in a will from a family’s favourite Uncle.

Drawing on archival material and his own art, Len Davies’ eventful life story is interwoven visually through his paintings of Harold Lasseter’s fateful search for gold in central Australia. It tells of Len’s days as a 13-year-old drawing caricatures of passers-by while selling newspapers outside Perth’s His Majesty's Hotel, to WW2 where he served as a rear gunner in a Lancaster Bomber, to his life as an artist.

Whereas Lasseter’s journey was fraught and tragic from start to end, Uncle Lens paintings are beautiful and inspiring. The audience is invited to view the real paintings used in the film via an Art Exhibition exit experience.

After the film Ashley Davies and his band, The True Adventurers, will be performing a set of instrumental music of compositions from his albums.

The performance will be held on Friday 5 July with doors opening at 5:30pm for a 6:00pm performance. This event is free for members and $20 for guests. Bookings can be made through Trybooking using this link.

Djoliba Rattler is a collaboration involving Aboubacar Djéliké Kouyate, who was born and raised within the 'griot' musical tradition of his homeland Mali, and three renowned Melbourne musicians: George Butrumlis on accordian, percussionist Ray Pereira OAM and bassist Mark Ferrie.

The group will be presenting selections from their recently released album 'Malibourne' which fuses Kouyate's interpretations of traditional Malian musical themes with the distinctly Melbourne musical sensibilities of George, Mark and Ray.

The performance will be held on Friday 14 June with doors opening at 5:30pm for a 6:00pm performance. This event is free for members and $20 for guests. Bookings can be made through Trybooking using this link.

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