No matter which way you look at it, carving out a little bit of peaceful ‘you’ time right now is a bit of a struggle. Days go by in an iso-haze with work, family and fun all taking place on a screen. Even with more leniency in the rules, continuing to adjust to a different normality takes its toll.

Our Special Collections team has picked out some images for colouring in. Colouring in has not been ‘just for kids’ for a long time, instead it has been promoted as a mindfulness practice for adults too. But! Don’t forget, the images used to colour in can lead you on a whole journey to finding new artists and writers, taking you on a journey through different fantasy worlds and times.

So if you want an excellent screen free brain break (and tales to go with them!), then have a go at colouring drawn from a selection of the fairy tales, fables and folklore digitised for Monash Collections Online, ready to print out and make your own.*

Stay tuned for more fairy tales and other wild stories coming your way!

*Tips for those who don’t have a printer, most print services will do either pick up or delivery.

Early Printed Books

Monash University Special Collections houses a varied survey of early printed material, many of which are classical allegories and fables retold for fifteenth to eighteenth century audiences. For example, Sebastian Brant’s (1458-1521) Stultifera nauis (the Ship of Fools) as a satirical critique of bad government, with woodcut prints by Albrecht Dürer. The flexibility of woodcuts is clear in an illustration from Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Green Knight from the 1602 edition, as well as the plate from Zaccaria Seriman’s (18709-1784) proto science fiction: Viages de Enrique Wanton. The Latin quotation at the top refers to the monkeys in dresses, and is from Horace: ‘Why do you laugh? Change only the name and this story is about you.’

Download the colouring page here

Download the colouring page here

Download the colouring page here

The Golden Age of Arts & Crafts

Here lies the tale of two Morris’: Ethel Morris Jackson and William Morris. Ethel and William were active across the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century. Although on opposite ends of the earth, both provide insight into the romantic, often whimsical art of the  Victorian and Edwardian eras. William Morris is the epitome of the Arts and Crafts movement, and Special Collections has examples of his engraving work. Ethel Morris Jackson in contrast started drawing at the age of 17 and went on to be a popular author and illustrator of Australian children’s books, of which Special Collection holds several of her original manuscripts and illustrations.

Download the colouring page here

Download the colouring page here

The Collector’s Edition

Andrew Lang was a prolific writer and critic in his lifetime, but he is perhaps best known for works that he didn’t write. Lang, along with his wife Leonora Blanche Alleyne, collected and published 25 collections of children’s stories known as either Andrew Lang’s “Coloured” Fairy Books or Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books of Many Colours. Although not the full 25 publications, Monash has digitised many of these fairy tale publications from Special Collections and have them available to view through Monash Collection Online. These illustrations have been taken from the “Violet” Fairy book – if you enjoy the pictures, go read the stories!

Download the colouring page here

Download the colouring page here

Download the colouring page here

Download the colouring page here