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The Friends of the University Book Fair returns 2023


Since it opened the doors to its first Book Fair in 1983, The Friends of the University has raised almost $1 million dollars for students at Newcastle’s largest learning hub. 

Next month, the group of volunteers behind the event will celebrate its 40th anniversary. 

They plan to host a record-breaking eight-day sale, offering more than 60,000 secondhand books, CDs, DVDs, music scores and vinyl records. 

The 2023 Book Fair will take place at the Great Hall, Callaghan campus, from 9 to 16 September. 

The bi-annual sale was created to foster a greater recognition of the University of Newcastle (UoN) within the broader community. 

Gwen Hamilton, the longest-serving member of the Book Fair Committee, says the event has since become so much more. 

“The interaction between the Friends of the University and the general public is enormous,” she says. 

“That, I think, is what we are most proud of.  

“For many who come to the Book Fair, it’s the first time they’ve been to the university and the Great Hall.  

“That’s a source of great pride to us.”   

More than 60,000 books, CDs, DVDs, and vinyl records will be for sale at the 2023 Friends of the University Book Fair next month.

Proceeds of the event will contribute towards the Friends’ commitment to supporting students to achieve their academic goals through the provision of nine scholarships. 

The last time it was held in 2019, the group raised more than $100,000. 

Since re-opening in 2022 for donations, the Hunter community has donated thousands of second-hand books and items for the 2023 event.  

Among the gems available for sale is The Norton Facsimile of the First Folio of Shakespeare, the First Views of Australia 1788 – 1825: A History of Early Sydney and a stunning copy of The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary which has a rare treatment called gauffering with embossed gold edging on the side of the pages.  

“I think the opening day is always an absolute thrill as people queue for the opening at 10am,” Gwen says. 

“Often we would see some of the same people who have supported the Book Fair over many years return to purchase an out of print or hard to find book or record at bargain prices.”   

The Friends of the University 2023 Book Fair will open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. 

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