In 2020 the University of Melbourne will be participating in the international #ColourOurCollections festival, making four #ColourOurCollections bookmarks available at libraries across the Parkville campus and at Southbank.

The bookmarks feature illustrations from books dating from the late 17th to early 18th centuries, known as 'headpieces'. Printers used (and re-used) these decorative images to head a new section of a book or an extended musical work such as an opera. Their original purpose, then, was as a bookmark of a different sort.

The images come from items found in the Hanson-Dyer Music collection, which came to the Special Collections Rare Music Collection at the University of Melbourne in 2005. It comprises 245 music books purchased by Melbourne woman Louise Hanson-Dyer during 1929-1931, when she first made Paris her home. The following year Hanson-Dyer established her own music publishing house, Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre (Lyrebird Press), which she ran in Paris and Monaco for 30 years. Her achievements, both as an expatriate Australian publisher of music and sound recordings and as a supporter of the arts more generally, were extraordinary.

#ColourOurCollections will incorporate a competition open to currently enrolled students. Four $50 Coles Myer gift vouchers will be given away to the best entries, two per month for February and March. To be in the draw to win, students must upload their design to Instagram or Twitter and tag @unilibrary using #ColourOurCollections.

Coloured bookmarks

Image: Coloured bookmarks featuring illustrations from the Hanson-Dyer Music Collection. Special Collections, University of Melbourne Library