Tim and Margaret Bourke Collection at the State Library
After an $88 Million refurbishment the magnificent State Library of Victoria re-opened in late 2019. It is really worth a visit into the city the city to see it. It’s a beautiful quiet oasis in the middle of the city where you can go and sit and read in glorious surroundings with no noise.
Bridge players may not be aware that it houses one of the world’s best collections of bridge books.
Tim and Margaret Bourke are both well known in the Australian bridge community. Margaret has represented Australi many times and Tim is internationally renowned as a collector and composer of bridge hands, having composed most of those in David Bird’s “Abbot” series since 1996. Bourke is an honorary member of IPBA (The International Bridge Press Association) for his work on providing journalists with material from the major championships around the world.
Tim first began collecting material on the game around 1970, and in the intervening years the Bourkes assembled a collection of over 5000 items on bridge and contract bridge. Their collection is considered to be the largest of its kind (in the English language) in the world.
In late 2008, they made the first of several donations of their collection to the State Library. It currently comprises around 3000 books and almost 150 bound volumes of magazines, and is held in the Library’s Rare Books collection.