Open Access Repository

The Contemporary Australian Book: A product of its time


Downloads per month over past year

McLean, KA 1996 , 'The Contemporary Australian Book: A product of its time', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

PDF (Front matter)
McLean_Front_Ma...pdf | Download (115kB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.

PDF (Ch. 1-4)
McLean_Ch.1-4.pdf | Download (4MB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.

PDF (Ch. 5-bibliography)
McLean_Ch...pdf | Download (4MB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


The research explores the nature of the book and book culture in
contemporary Australia. It examines the ways in which the
contemporary Australian book, that is the printed and bound,
commercially produced book, is a product of its time, reflecting not only
the conditions of its creation, manufacture, transmission, and use, but
also the social, political, intellectual, economic, and cultural contexts in
which these conditions occur.
A model derived from histoire du livre scholarship is presented and
applied to both the general conditions of Australian book culture in the
early 1990s, and to a single contemporary book, The Orchard written by
Drusilla Modjeska and published by Pan Macmillan Australia. The model
represents the 'life-cycle' of the generic book and encompasses the
inter-connected events of authorship, publication, printing,
distribution, sales, reception, use, and preservation, as well as the
contexts in which these events occur. A brief historical overview of
the development in Australia of each event is presented, along with an
examination of the actual nature and conditions of, and contextual
influences on, each event as it applied to The Orchard in the years 1994
and 1995.
The centrality of commercial influences is identified as the major factor
in determining the nature of the book in contemporary Australia. The
book is essentially a commercial product, produced and distributed in a
commercial environment for profit. That the book is also a significant
cultural artefact is a source of tension within Australian book culture,
particularly among authors, publishers, and booksellers.
Other significant influences on the nature of the contemporary
Australian book are identified and discussed. These indude cultural,
intellectual, and historical influences, the effects of government
intervention, and the influence of women's participation in book

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:McLean, KA
Additional Information:

Copyright the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page