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

We're building you a better National Library

Work is nearing completion for the first stage of the 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 new Special Collections Reading Room will open on schedule on Monday 5 January 2015. Readers will then have direct access to the Library's pictures, maps, manuscripts, oral history recordings, music, ephemera and rare printed material collections in one place for the first time. You can now begin to plan your research visit. 

All access to special collections and specialist curatorial advice will be provided in this new space. The existing Pictures and Manuscripts and Maps Reading Rooms will close from 5 January and those collections will be delivered to the new Special Collections Reading Room. The Petherick Reading Room will also move up from the ground floor to be located on Level 1 within the Special Collections Reading Room as of 5 January. All reading rooms, including the Main Reading Room, will be closed between Thursday 25 December and Sunday 4 January 2015 inclusive to facilitate the transition. View all summer opening hours

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