Our Special Collections


Culinary Research Collection contains historically significant cookery books from around the world, including early Australian rare cookery books. The collection provides rich and extensive culinary resources for research in Australian culinary history, other culinary cultures, extensive recipes for all cuisines worldwide, and recipes for special occasions.


The Institute acquired the Fuller Collection from Professor John Fuller of Oxford University to celebrate the Institute’s 50 years anniversary in 1995. The collection consists of over 530 books on wine, distilling, brewing, viticulture, and technological aspects of wine production, spirits and other drinks. Many of the books date back to the 18th and 19th century; the oldest published in 1733. Prized gems of the collection include Sir Edward Barry’s ‘Wines of the Ancients’ (1775), ‘Liquor Acts of 1736 from the Reign of George III’ (1738).


The collection is made up of over 700 menus from all over the world with a large part being Australian in origin. It contains menus from a variety of sources including cruise, club, restaurants, bars and hotels from the early 1900s to the present. The collection functions as a wonderful resource which displays the changes of styles in food and menu design over the last 100 years. The cruise menus in our collection are particularly evocative of a mode of travel and the pace of life of an earlier era.

Online Menu Collection


The Collection was started by Chef Zimmerman’s grandfather, and consists of a book of more than 1300 menus and epicurean articles from all over England and Europe. Dating back to 1862, the menus feature table d'hôte as well as banquet menus. Most are presented in French, some with a translation in their language of origin. The menus give us interesting insights into dining habits of the times. Items listed are very much appropriate for the seasons, unlike modern day menus which feature many ingredients available all year round.

In 2010, as part of William Angliss Institute’s celebration of its 70th year, the LRC was granted money to restore the Zimmerman Book. It has been beautifully restored to its former glory by an offsite conservator and is now available for viewing.

Zimmerman Book Online


 The WAI Archive collection is dedicated to acquiring materials about William Angliss Institute to document and preserve the history of the Institute. The collection currently includes approximately 3600 items including books, pamphlets and brochures, newspaper clippings, manuscripts, videocassettes, photographs, plans, portraits and pictures, DVDs and CD-ROM.

Featured Book


The Antipodean Cookery Book by Mrs. Lance Rawson
Melbourne, 1897, 2nd edition.

First edition published in 1895, this old cookery book has been reprinted in recent years, the latest facsimile edition was published in 1992.

The author, Lance Rawson, told young housewives that cooking is an essential skill for a happy marriage, and encouraged them to learn about edible bush food from Aboriginal people in the bush area.

Man must be cooked for. He’ll do without shirt-buttons, and he’ll do without his slippers, but he will not do without his dinner, nor is he inclined to accept excuses as regards under- or over-done meals after the first week or so of the honeymoon. If there be any young girls reading these pages who are contemplating marriage in the near future, take an old wife’s advice and learn to cook, for only by feeding him well will you succeed in gaining your husband’s respect and keeping his affection.

In her book, it shows us the cooking fashion in Australian pioneers’ family in
nineteenth century. The recipes in this book include “To Cook Parrots”.

To cook parrots - Ingredients: One dozen parrots, 1 ounce butter, and 1 ounce flour, 1/2 pint milk, seasoning of pepper, salt and nutmeg, 1 tablespoonful of chopped parsley, a little stock. Mode: Mix the butter and the flour smoothly in a stewpan over a moderate fire. Gradually add the milk and seasoning. Stir the sauce till it boils, then pour in as much stock as will make it sufficient for the birds. Put in the parrots, well-picked and cleaned, and let them stew, closely covered until they are tender. Add a little extra milk or stock if it boils away much. About five minutes before serving sprinkle in the chopped parsley. Serve very hot, with the sauce poured round the birds.

(Rawson, Mrs Lance. The Antipodean Cookery Book and Kitchen Companion. Melbourne: George Robertson &​ Co., 1897.)