Dixson Library is at the heart of the UNE campus and provides a venue for changing exhibitions of selections from the University's Collections. It is just a short walk to Booloominbah, the Museum of Anitiquities and the Zoology Museum. UNE Collections displays are also featured at other on- and off-campus venues.

The Potter's Wheel

24 March – 22 October 2017

Learning Commons, Dixson Library

Bernard James with Holden panel van, 31 August 1961, UNE Media Resources, Heritage CentreThe Potter’s Wheel features ceramics from the Bernard John Francis (BDF) James Collection. James (right) was appointed to the University in 1960, becoming a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Continuing Education and director of Residential Schools from 1969 until his retirement in 1986. He was also an enthusiast of all the creative arts who brought in artists such as John Firth-Smith, Alun Leach-Jones, John Olsen and Michael Snape to Armidale for the University’s Summer School program. The stoneware bowls, platters and containers from James’ private collection have been created by some of Australia’s most renowned potters. After his death, only six months after retirement, his wife, Marjorie James, made a selection from his collection available to the University.

Vere Chamberlain: Vignettes of an Armidale Life

25 January – 30 September 2017

Level 2, Dixson Library

The life of Vere Chamberlain is explored through the archival collection of the Heritage Centre and her book collection, donated by a family friend to the Museum of Education. The Chamberlains arrived in Australia in 1888, settling at Armidale in 1889. Vere Chamberlain (1897–1989) attended the Superior Public Infants School and the Girls Superior Public School.  She earned several prizes donated by local businesses for her academic achievements in school. From 1916 to 1931 Vere worked at Mallam & Co, a local chemist and bookseller, as a bookkeeper. This exhibitions is curated by Carol Corless as part of a WORK300 subject towards a Bachelor of Historical Inquiry and Practice.

Never on Sunday: Sabbatarian Literature of the Long Nineteenth Century

25 January – 30 September 2017

Level 2, Dixson Library

This exhibition considers two Sabbatarian authors and their didactic writing. Mrs. Sherwood and Mrs. Barbauld convey strong messages promoting the characteristic tenets of Evangelicalism, such as the requirement to acknowledge one's moral depravity and seek redemption through the worship of God. The framed works illustrate the moral lessons promoted through Sabbatarian literature. A focus display examines the literature at the local level through the Mackenzie and Everett families of Ollera. This exhibition is curated by Rachel Hinton as part of a WORK300 subject towards a Bachelor of Historical Inquiry and Practice.

Wright College 60th anniversary

29 September 2016–30 September 2017

Learning Commons, Dixson Library

Wright College was designed and named after the Wright family in 1956 and the first students took up residence in 1958. It was conceived on the Oxbridge model as a community of scholars comprising academics and postgraduate and undergraduate students sharing a corporate life. Initially a men’s college, Wright College admitted women residents from 1974.The College successfully forged its own distinct and robust manifestation of collegiate life until its closure in 1998. This, however, was not the end of the story for in 2015 Wright College sprang into being once more as UNE’s most modern student residential complex.

Come Up and See Our Etchings

21 October 2016–5 February 2018

Learning Commons, Dixson Library

Etching, as a printmaking technique, was developed in the 1500s with Dürer, van Dyke and Rembrandt among the earliest etchers. In Australia etching enjoyed a revival in the early 20th century thanks largely to artists such as Lionel and Norman Lindsay and Sydney Ure Smith. The UNE Art Collection holds dozens of etchings donated in the early days of University and its predecessor institution, the Armidale Teachers’ College, by significant benefactors such as Sir James McGregor, Miss Mary White and Dr Elsie Dalyell. A rotating selection of these etchings will be on display at Dixson from October 2016 to February 2018.

Martha Simpson and the Montessori Method

8 August 2016 to 6 March 2017

Stairwell Showcase, Dixson Library

Martha Simpson (1865-1948) was a reforming teacher who worked in the NSW public school system.

In 1913 she was sent by the NSW Department of Public Instruction to Italy to study Maria Montessori’s methods of infant education. Dr Montessori’s pedagogy was revolutionary for its time and involved treating children as individuals and giving them increased control over the learning process.

In 1914 Martha Simpson published a book on the Montessori method and how it had been implemented at Blackfriars School in Sydney.  This publication was highly influential in promoting Montessori ideas throughout Australia.

The exhibition will draw on the UNE Museum of Education’s collection of Martha Simpson memorabilia and early Montessori apparatus.

The Pella Collection: Selections from the Hennessy Gift


Museum of Antiquities

Since 1979 the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation, University of Sydney, has been excavating an extraordinary site at Pella, Jordan representing almost 10,000 years of human occupation. Basil Hennessy and Tony McNicoll were the first expedition co-directors. Hennessy’s association with the Museum of Antiquities dates from the1959 establishment of a ‘Classics Museum’ when he assisted Maurice Kelly in acquiring the first objects for the Collection. In honour of Basil Hennessy and in recognition of his long association with the University, artefacts from Pella, dating from 2100 BCE to 850 CE, were gifted to the Museum in 2012.

Homo Floresiensis 'The Hobbit'

Ongoing exhibition

Learning Commons, Dixson Library

A tiny, new human species discovered in 2003 at Liang Bua cave on the island of Flores by UNE researchers, their Indonesian counterparts and local Mangarri people. See the sculpture re-creation depicting what the 'Hobbit' might have looked like.

Selections from the UNE Gift Collection

Ongoing exhibition

Dixson Library

A rotating selection of gifts presented over the years to the University by its many international educational, research and community partners.