Using the Newspapers and Microforms Reading Room

The latest issues of selected Australian and overseas newspapers are available in the Reading Room, as well as over 50 popular titles (mostly Australian) on microfilm. These titles are all on open access and you may browse through these.

Complete sets of major Australian newspapers are shelved in the microfilm cabinets in the Newspapers and Microforms Reading Room. Check the list at the end of the cabinets to see if the title you wish to use is available on open access and retrieve the reels you need. Please remember to file microfilm back once you have finished.

If the title or issue you are looking for is not in the Reading Room, you will need to check the library catalogue for holdings and call number details.

Many Australian and overseas newspapers are shelved in the microfilm cabinets in the stacks. Check the catalogue for holdings and request the reels through the catalogue.

The Library’s holdings of hardcopy Australian newspapers published before January 2001 and overseas newspapers published before January 2006 are stored at the Library’s offsite repository. Please check the catalogue for holdings and request the issues through the Library catalogue. If a microfilm version is available please request this format as the hardcopy original will not be made available for preservation reasons.

  • To request material from the closed-access newspaper stacks you must be registered as a National Library Reader.
  • To find the item you want search the Catalogue and then follow the instructions in the help screens to complete the request.
  • You may place your request at any time through computers in the Library and from outside the Library via the Library's website.
  • Please read about our Collection Delivery Service for more details about delivery times.
  • All National Library material must be used in the Reading Rooms.
  • For more information refer to eCallslips: the electronic requesting system.


The Reading Room has microfilm and microfiche reader-printers, a photocopier and printer.

  • Pages in bound volumes cannot be photocopied
  • Loose issues may be copied on the self-service photocopiers
  • Pages from electronic newspapers may be printed
  • Photographic images may be ordered

All copying must observe the Copyright Act, 1968. There are signs giving details near all the reader-printers and the photocopiers. Charges apply for all copying.

Borrowing a microform from us

Offsite users can access items held in microform format through the interlibrary loan system operating in your local library. Newspapers held in paper format are not available for loan, however copies of newspaper articles can be obtained by using our Copies Direct service.