Bookings for all Friends events may be made online, through the Friends Office on 02 6262 1698, or by emailing

Ticket payments may be made over the phone by credit card. Cheque payments, made payable to ‘The Friends of the National Library of Australia’, should be posted to Friends of the National Library, National Library of Australia, Canberra ACT 2600.  Cash payments may be dropped off at the National Library bookshop during opening hours, and must be delivered in an unsealed envelope, with details of your name, the event and the dollar amount written on the envelope. These will then be passed on to the Friends Office.


Book Launch: First Fleet Surgeon by David Hill

Join the Friends for the launch of the new National Library publication, First Fleet Surgeon: The Voyage of Arthur Bowes Smyth. Author David Hill will speak about the process of researching and writing the book.

 David Hill is the author of Australian bestsellers The Great Race, The Gold Rush, 1788 and The Forgotten Children.

Tuesday 28 April, 5.30pm
$10 Friends, $15 non-members (includes light refreshments)
Bookings:  02 6262 1698 or


Friends Exhibition Viewing: Revealing the Rothschild Prayer Book

 The 500-year-old Rothschild Prayer Book, considered one of the most important books in existence, will be on exhibition at the National Library from 22 May to 9 August. Alongside the Rothschild Prayer Book will be a selection of the National Library's own medieval treasures.

Be one of the first to see this Renaissance masterpiece at an after-hours viewing exclusively for Friends members.

 Friday 29 May, 6pm
Treasures Gallery
$30Friends (includes light refreshments)
Bookings:  02 6262 1698 or


Fearful Symmetry: The Medici Legacy and Renaissance Gardens

Presented in association with the Australian Garden History Society

Gardens both set and follow fashion and exploring garden history reveals surprising insights. Sue Ebury's desire to understand three ground-breaking Renaissance Tuscan gardens made by the Medici around six centuries ago and understand their creators' impulses has taken her on a decade long journey from Ovid and English diarist John Evelyn to today's Professor John Dixon Hunt. Tonight we visit, study and 'read' their importance through paintings, literature and her stunning photographs.

Sue Ebury is the national patron of the Australian Garden History Society and a founding committee member. She is also a member of the National Library Foundation Board. Sue is the biographer of Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop and Kenneth Myer and an honorary research associate in the History Department, University of Hong Kong. She is currently writing the biography of Australian Brigadier Sir Lindsay Ride, academic, and spymaster in China during World War.

Thursday 18 June, 6pm
Conference Room
$15 Friends and AGHS members, $20 non-members (includes light refreshments)
Bookings:  02 6262 1698 or


Story Time

Bring your children or grandchildren to the monthly Friends of the National Library Story Time sessions. Enjoy hearing new tales and rediscovering old favourites, as told by members of the ACT Storytellers Guild.

Thursday 19 March
Thursday 16 April
Thursday 21 May

11.30am, Ferguson Room
Free for Friends and their accompanying children
$5 non-members
Bookings not required, pay at the door


Friends Book Club

A monthly literary discussion, run by Friends members.

Tuesday 31 March – The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman

Tuesday 28 April – History of the Rain by Niall Williams

Tuesday 26 May - The Conjurer's Bird by Martin Davies

6.15pm, Friends Lounge
Free, bookings not required
For Friends members only


Free Film Screenings

In association with the Reel McCoy Film Society, the Friends present monthly film screenings exclusively for members of both organisations. 

Wednesday 18 March -   Night of the Demon (UK 1957, 95 mins, PG, DVD)

Wednesday 15 April - Dance, Girl, Dance (USA 1940, 90 mins, NR, DVD)

Wednesday 20 May - Dr Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (USA 1964, 103 mins, PG, DVD)

Wednesday 17 June - Psycho (USA 1960, 109 mins, R, DVD)

6pm, Theatre
Free, bookings not required
Enquiries: 02 6262 1698