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Hague Collection

Ralph Hague's 1932 Stow MedalAn outstanding student, Ralph Hague (1907-1997) was a law graduate of the University of Adelaide in 1932 who won the Stow Prize for three consecutive years and the Stow Medal in his final year.

Initially articled to his father Percy Hague, he joined the law firm of Kelly, Hague and Travers in 1938 as a partner.  In 1946, after war service, he joined the Crown Solicitor's Office, ultimately becoming Crown Solicitor in 1969. He was also Lecturer in Jurisprudence at the University of Adelaide and held this position until 1949, with leave of absence for war service.

The Literature of Collecting and Other Essays. Richard Wendorf. 2008Hague was editor of both the State Reports for forty years and the Law Society Judgement Scheme for twenty years. His contributions to the profession and to legal scholarship were recognised by the award of Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1971.

In 1985 Hague gifted to the Library his collection of almost four hundred volumes of works printed before 1801, encompassing the fields of law, history, religion and English literature. Following his death in 1997, the Library received Hague's entire collection of thirty thousand books. Selected works not held by the Library were added to the Main, Law and Rare Book collections. The remainder was sold and purchases continue to be made to the benefit of Special Collections and the Library as a whole.

Hague's own collection included hundreds of books about books - on "great books" and "best books", book collecting and the book trade, book clubs and bookplates, printing and bibliography and bibliophiles. The bulk of these have been kept together as the Hague Collection to commemorate his generous bequest.


The Delightful Diversion: The Whys and Wherefores of Book Collecting. Reginald Brewer. 1935 The Golden Book: The Story of Fine Books and Bookmaking - Past and Present. Douglas McMurtrie. 1927 The Responsibilities of the Novelist. Frank Norris. 1903 The Book-Hunter in London. William Roberts. 1985
Book Illustrated: Text, Image and Culture 1770-1930. Catherine Golden. 2000 Strange Reading. Grant Uden. 1936 Penrose's Pictorial Annual. William Gamble. 1900 Book-Jackets: Their Theory, Forms and Use. G Thomas Tanselle. 2011


Rare Books & Special Collections

The University of Adelaide
Rare Books & Special Collections
Level 1, Barr Smith Library
South Australia 5005


Phone: +61 8 8313 5224