The J Lloyd Hewett Collection

The J Lloyd Hewett collection is a collection of books on the history of optometry, ophthalmology and medicine although it also includes books on quirky subjects related to vision and the eye.

It was established in 1996 to commemorate the life of J Lloyd Hewett OAM (1923-1996) and his contribution to the profession of optometry. He was a man of classical learning so it is appropriate that the College should commemorate his life by the establishment of a collection of books biased to the history of optometry and off-beat subjects.

Lloyd Hewett was a Sydney based optometrist who was Editor of the Australian Journal of Optometry, the precursor of Clinical and Experimental Optometry for 18 years and Associate Editor before that. He was also a leader and teacher in contact lens practice. 

Read a profile of Lloyd Hewett by Barry Collin Clin Exp Optom 2000; 83: 333-336

Books recently added to the Hewett Collection

Descartes and the hyperbolic quest by Graham Burnett. 2005 (Cat no. 2959. Acq. Sep 2016) A clearly written account of how Descates tried to make aspheric lenses to correct speharical abberation with lots of information about lens making in the 17th C.

Beyond Sandy Blight by Jilpia Jones et al, 2008. (Cat no. 2848. Acq. June 2016). A report of the experiences and emotions of ten participants in the National Trachoma and Eye Health Program that collected data on the eye health and provided treatment for indigenous peoples of Australia from 1976 to 1978.

How glasses caught a killer and other stories of how optics changed the world by David Butler, 2016. (Cat no. 2847. Acq. June 2016). Forty short stories recounting curious and stories related to optometry,

Optometry: professional, economic and legal aspects by Henry Hofstetter, 1948. (Cat no. 2830. Acq. Apr 2016) A comprehensive account of the state of optometric practice in the USA in the 1940s.

Book cover LRA history of Australian optometry: two hundred years of beating the tyranny of distance and fighting political battles to find new roles and a new place in health care by Barry Cole. 2015. (Cat no. 2766. Acq. Jan 2016). A new and comprehensive history of Australian optometry.

The eye of the beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek and the reinvention of seeing by Laura Snyder, 2015. (Cat n. 2757. Acq. Dec 2015 A book about Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, the inventor of the microscope, and Johannes Vermeer, the Dutch artist who lived in the same city not far from each other, and in very different ways changed the way people look at and perceive things.

Optical illusions: the science of visual illusions by Alfred Seckel, 2012. (Cat no. 2748. Acq. Nov 2016). One of a number of books by Seckel on the subject of visual illusions,

Amazing optical illusions by Alfred Seckel, 2015. (Cat no. 2747. Acq. Nov 2016).

Masters of deception: Escher, Dali and the artists of the optical illusion by Alfred Seckel, 2004 (Cat no. 2728. Acq. Nov 2016).

The ultimate book of optical illusions by Alfred Seckel, 2006. (Cat no. 2727. Acq. Nov 2016).

Antique spectacle cases by Gary Conway, 2015, (Cat no. 2649. Acq. Aug 2016).

Browse the Collection using the Search Function

See all Books by searching for Category ‘book’ and Sub-category ‘Hewett’ or search by Key Word or Author

Books in the Hewett Collection can be borrowed

Collection policy

The books in the collections are on the history of medicine, ophthalmology, optometry and the more curious side of vision and visual disorders.

The collection includes books on the visual illusions, the philosophy of visual perception and numerous books on ophthalmic history.

262 001The History of Ophthalmology by Julius Hirschberg (pictured) is an important holding. This is a massive work of 11 volumes including volumes on:

  • Antiquity
  • Eye care in the Middle Ages
  • The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
  • The renaissance of ophthalmology in the eighteenth century,
  • The first half of the 19th C
  • Optical instruments (by T. v. Haugwitz)
  • Stamps depicting eye care and famous ophthalmologists
  • Reform of ophthalmology
  • Ophthalmology in the German-speaking countries during the 20th century
  • The History of Contact Lenses (by Robert F. Heitz translated by Colin Mailer)

Where is the collection held?

The collection is held in the Nathan Library on open shelves in the centre of the south wall of the Library.

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