The new reading room designThe new Special Collections Reading Room design for Level 1

We're building you a better National Library

Work has started on a project to provide better access to the National Library of Australia’s 10 million-item-strong collection and to make our public spaces fit for a twenty-first century national library.

The current six reading rooms spread over four floors will be integrated into three modern, large spaces. The new Special Collections Reading Room on the first floor, scheduled to open in time for the 2015 academic year, will give readers and visitors direct access to the Library’s pictures, maps, manuscripts, oral history recordings, music, ephemera and rare printed material collections in one place. The Petherick Reading Room will be located within the Special Collections Reading Room. The Asian Collections Reading Room on the third floor will remain as is.

Following the opening of the new Special Collections Reading Room, newspapers and microforms will move to the ground floor and a new family history zone will be established. Later in 2015, the public area on the lower ground floor will be expanded to include an informal study space with improved internet access in a relaxed café environment.

As well as providing enlarged, integrated reading rooms, the project will improve sustainability, upgrade building services such as air conditioning and fire systems, and meet compliance requirements mandated in the Building Code.

To ensure that any inconvenience to visitors and staff is kept to a minimum, major building works will be carried out after hours.

The project is being managed from within existing Government funding allocated to the National Library of Australia to maintain the building.

We would like to hear your feedback

Browse the floor plans