at The Wheeler Centre

Beautiful Books: Rare Book Week Launch

In the midst of the e-revolution, where we’re as likely to download as to leaf through a book, the idea of the book as an object of beauty is being lost. Or is it?

To celebrate the launch of Rare Book Week, a panel of passionate bibliophiles – including a collector, a designer and a twenty-first-century book-maker – will explore changing perspectives on what makes a book beautiful … and what makes us treasure it long after its shelf life.

With Des Cowley, Rare Printed Collections Manager at the State Library of Victoria, designer W.H. Chong and founder Virginia Murdoch. Hosted by Steve Grimwade.


Portrait of W.H. Chong

W.H. Chong

W.H. Chong is a book designer and design director at Text Publishing. A founding member of ABDA (Australian Book Designers Association), he also writes on visual art for Daily Review and on design for Chong is an inductee of the Australian Book Designers Hall of Fame, and has spoken about book design on radio and at literary festivals. His work can be seen at

Portrait of Virginia Murdoch

Virginia Murdoch

Virginia is a digital designer and one of the founders of, an e-book platform developed in Australia and since acquired by the US e-book giant OverDrive.

Portrait of Des Cowley

Des Cowley

Des Cowley is the Rare Printed Collections Manager at the State Library of Victoria, and has more than twenty years experience working with rare books.


More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.

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