- What we collect
- Preserving our collections
- Building our collections
- Selected Library collections
- Collection statistics
- History of the collection
- Processing and describing our collections
The Library is always looking for material to add to the collection.
Your assistance helps us to build a national collection for future generations of Australian to use and enjoy. Your Library donation or advice of the whereabouts of any of the items listed below (for puchase at current market prices) is greatly appreciated.
Please direct all enquiries and offers of materials to email@example.com.
Find out how to donate collection material.
Australiana to 1900
The history of publishing in and about Australia is comparatively short - spanning just over 200 years of white settlement and including earlier speculation about the Great South Land and European voyages of discovery. While the National Library has the largest collection of Australian printed material in the world, there are some books which are missing from the collection, and which it would like to acquire and preserve:
- Butcher-baronet, or, The Wagga Wagga mystery : a new and original musical burletta in three acts / by Frank Hutchinson
(Wagga Wagga, NSW : Advertiser Printing Office, 1871)
- Boys of the world: a journal for prince and peasant / Edwin Brett
(London : Edwin J. Brett, 1869-1870)
- The Brother of the shadow: a mystery of to-day / Rosa Praed
(George Routledge & Sons, 1886)
- Catalogue of the exhibits in the Queensland Mining Court, Queensland International Exhibition, 1897 / by R.L. Jack
(Edmund Gregory, Govt. Printer 1897)
- Limitation of offspring : being the substance of a lecture delivered in the North Melbourne Town Hall, and elsewhere, to large audiences of women only / Mrs B. Smyth
(Melbourne : Rae Bros., 1893)
- The Parent's assistant, or, Stories for children / Maria Edgeworth
(London :printed for J. Johnson, 1796) - 1st edition
- "The Right Honourable": a romance of society and politics / Justin McCarthy, MP and Mrs Campbell-Praed
(London : Chatto & Windus, 1886)
- Sketches of human manners : delineated in stories intended to illustrate the characters, religion, and singular customs, of the inhabitants of different parts of the world / Priscilla Wakefield
(London : [Darton & Harvey], 1807) - 1st edition
- Winning a wife in Australia: a story drawn from actual experiences and illustrative of life in the present day in the Antipodes / A. Donnison
(Sydney, NSW : Dymock's Book Arcade, 1894)
- Australian cricket tours to New Zealand
"Only Test" souvenier programme, international cricket Australia v New Zealand, Basin Reserve, Wellington March 29-30 and 1-2 April 1946 and the official programme from the 1949-1950 Australia v Wellington match, also at the Basin Reserve, 1, 3 and 4 April 1950.
- Cricket and football : rhymes, sketches anecdotes, etc. of Albert Craig, the "Surrey Poet" (London : Cricket and Sports Publishers, Ltd.  - has some Australian content
- Democracy on trial, and other essays / Frederick A.W. Gisborne
(London : Longmans, Green, 1928)
- The Flying Jockey: A Story of Racing and War / Ernest Charles Buley
(London: Mills and Boon, 1919)
- The Honour of the station / Will H. Ogilvie
(London : Holden & Hardingham, 1914)
- The Insane root: a romance of a strange country / by Mrs. Campbell Praed
(London : T. Fisher Unwin, 1902)
- The Saga of Hans Hansen / Oscar Asche
(London : Hurst & Blackett, 1930)
- Stubble before the wind
(London : J. Long, 1908)
- The Wayward fern / Annina E. Highfield
(Brisbane, QLD : The Read Press Ltd, 1930)
- Why the sphinx smiles / by Ethel Knight Kelly
(London : John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1925 )
- The application of a drought index system to Australian bushfire control / A.G. McArthur (Canberra : Forestry and Timber Bureau, 1966)
- Back to the best interests of the child : towards a rebuttable presumption of joing custody, a paper
(Adelaide : Child Support Action Group, 1995)
- Belly flop / Morris Gleitzman (Bath, England : Galaxy, 2005) - children's large print edition
- The Big company / B.F. Hutchings ([Riverina: The Author], 1998) - a book about life at Bundure Station, Jerilderie and working for the New Zealand and Australian Land Company by the late Fred Hutchings
- A Brief look at recidivism from Brookway Park / J.C. McEwen (Adelaide: The Department of Social Welfare
- Dreams, hopes and reflections / F. Clive Palmer (Hurricane International, 1981)
- Floral patterns for embroiderers and cake decorators/ Nicholas Lodge
(East Roseville, NSW : Simon & Schuster, 1991)
- Green pages : directory of non-government environmental groups in Australia
(Hawthorn, VIC : Australian Conservation Foundation, 1978)
- John Perceval : Williamstown and other images
(South Yarra,Vic: The Galleries, 1989)
- Linda Jackson: an icon of Australian fashion
(Mulgrave, Vic: The Images Publishing Group, 2000)
- Nector sprinkles on Australia / [lectures by] Bhaktiveda?nta Na?ra?yan?a Gosva?mi? Maha?ra?ja ( Mathura?, India : Gaudiya Vedanta Publications, )
Australian printed music
The Library's collection of printed music is particularly strong in Australian music, with an outstanding collection of nineteenth century materials. A largely comprehensive collection of 20th century music published in or relating to Australia continues to be built.
There are some pieces of 19th and early 20th century sheet music that the National Library does not have in its collection, and would like to acquire:
- Australis, or, The City of zero
- "an entirely original, musical and spectacular, pantomimic extravaganza of the future" / written and staged for Federation 1900/01, with music by Bernard Espinasse and script by J.C. Williamson
We are currently targeting Australian music, both published and unpublished. For example, in addition to music composed for Federation events we are missing three songs composed in 1932 about the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, a song composed by Don Bradman in 1931 with words by Jack Lumsdaine Every day is a rainbow day for me, a 1930s revue by Jack O'Hagan Tout Paree, an opera Gerada by Dudley Glass, published 19th century Australian music such as the Seventy seventh galop by Cavallini, and contemporary Australian operas.
If you can find any of the items listed below, you could help us by donating them to the Library or simply letting us know of their whereabouts.
- Adelaide fanfare / Malcolm Williamson. London: Josef Weinberger, c1973
- Ancient Hebrew melodies / Joseph Reichenberg (or Richenberg), 1845
- Australian quadrilles / Joseph Reichenberg (or Richenberg), 1826
- Australis, or, The city of zero : an entirely original musical and spectacular pantomomic extravaganza of the future : written and staged for Federation 1900/01 / with music by Bernard Espinasse ; and script by J.C. Williamson
- Bridge song / composed by Betty Newell, 1932
- Bridge two-step : the latest dancing craze / words by John L. Bepper ; music by Nicholas Robins. Australia : John Bepper, c1932
- Busker's story / Alison Bauld. London: Novello, c1974
- Butcher-baronet, or The Wagga Wagga mystery : a new and original musical burletta in three acts / by Frank Hutchinson. Wagga Wagga, NSW : Advertiser Printing Office, 1871
- Canberra fanfare / Malcolm Williamson. London: Josef Weinberger, c1973.
- Concerto for Bernadette ; concerto for piano accordion, piano and strings / by Michael J. Easton.
- Courtship : song / written and composed by R.A.A. Stoneham and C. J. De Garis. Melbourne : Melola Phonograph & Publishing Co., [19--] "F.F.F. : an Australian Musical Comedy"—Cover..
- Every day is a rainbow day for me / composed by Don Bradman ; words by Jack Lumsdaine.
- Federation musical album
- Fontainbleau fanfare / Malcolm Williamson. London: Josef Weinberger, c1981
- Gerda : opera / Dudley Glass
- Hail Australia! : a patriotic song / composed by Alberto Zelman. Melbourne
- Harbour Bridge : musical skit / John Henry and Gladys Horridge, 1931
- Hobarton quadrilles / Joseph Reichenberg (or Richenberg), 1828
- Josephian Hymn (on prayer and Divine Love) / Music arranged by Monsr. Gautrot ; words by J. J. Published by Therry. Hobart Town : T. Bluett, 1844.
- Icy mirror / Malcolm Williamson ; text by Ursula Vaughan. London: Josef Weinberger, c1972
- In a dead brown land : a dramatic pastoral / by Alison Bauld. London: Novello, c1974
- In thanksgiving - Sir Bernard Heinz / Malcolm Williamson, 1982
- Lucky-Peter's journey : a comedy with music / by Malcolm Williamson ; libretto by Edmund Travey ; based upon a fairy-tale play by August Stringberg. London: Weinberger, c1969
- May the grace of Christ : 4 part canon : in Sound the bamboo / Colin Brumby. Manila : CCA, 1900
- Mirror : fur zwei floten / Felix Werder. Frankfurt : Musikverlag Zimmermann, c1988.
- Mr Nightingale : an operetta for junior schools / by June Epstein. Melbourne : Allans Music Australia, c1978
- Music for wind band / Don Banks. Published by Schott, 1971
- Next year in Jerusalem : for high voices and orchestra / Malcolm Williamson ; poems of Jorge Luis Borges. Buntingford, Hers. : Campion Press, [198-]
- Oh, come and worship / words by Juliet Hoey ; music by Colin Brumby. [Minneapolis, Minn.] : Augsburg Fortress, 1990.
- Overland mail : galop / composed by Charles D'Albert. Sydney : J.R. Clarke, 356 George Street, [18--]
- Procession of Psalms / Malcolm Williamson. London : Josef Weinberger, c1965
- Postludium / William Lovelock ; edited by Martin Shaw. London : Cramer, c1939
- Psalm 117, O praise the Lord / Colin Brumby. [U.S.} : Augsburg Fortress, 1991
- Pumpkin 1 / music and text by Alison Bauld. London : Novello, c1974
- Richmond fanfare / Malcolm Williamson. London: Josef Weinberger, c1980
- Ride! Ride! : a musical based on a story about John Wesley / lyrics Alan Thornhill ; music Penelope Thwaites ; arrangements Will Reed. London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, c1976.
- Rondel : fur viola und clavier (1979) / Vivienne Olive. Darmstadt : Tonos, 1990
- Sleeping 'neath the veldt : descriptive song / words & music by Alf. Graham. Sydney : W.H. Paling, [190-}
- Smithy king of the air / Richard Barry Lloyd. Sydney? : Chappell & Co. 1935.
- Sonata for flute and piano / Keith Humble. New York : John Wion, c1994
- Song of the Ashes : the great cricket hit / words by F. T. Wrightson ; music by Alfred J Hodges. York, England : Hodges Studio, 1926.
- Song of the bridge / words by Walter T Bourke : music by Percy Davies. 1932
- Song of the great bridge / composed by Albert Cazabon. 1932
- True to the core / Alfred. Plumpton & J. Packer. London Charles Sheard, 1868.
In early 2008, a search and rescue campaign was launched by Australian Newspaper Plan (ANPlan) libraries to recruit the help of the public to find newspapers which are missing from the ANPlan library collections; and raise public awareness of the role of libraries in collecting, preserving and providing access to Australian newspapers.
Magazines and journals
Does your home have Australian style? Do you read Elle (Australian edition)? Are your bookshelves bending under the weight of Gardening Australia? The National Library collects these and thousands of other magazines that are published in Australia. The publishers provide them to the Library free of charge under the legal deposit provisions of the Copyright Act, 1968. There are times, however, when issues are missed, lost or damaged and this results in gaps in the Library's collection. With shorter print runs and the passage of time, the Library finds it increasingly difficult to obtain replacement copies of missing issues.
- Australian journal of mining: AJM (ISSN 1037-0552)
Issues sought: no. 65 (1992); no. 76 (1993); no. 88 (1994); nos. 100, 106-110 (1995); nos. 112, 114-116 (1996); nos. 122-124 (1996/97); vol. 14, no. 156 (2000)
- Australian style (ISSN 1322-9559)
Issues sought: nos. 1-4, 8-16, 18-28, 30-43, 46-47
- The Australian way (ISSN 0818-9161)
Issues sought: Oct. 1992-June 1993, Mar. 1994, July 1996; Jan., June, Oct., Dec. 1997; Jan., July 1998
Issues sought: All issues - only an imperfect copy of no. 2, 1934 is held.
- Cricket: a magazine devoted exclusively to cricket
Issues sought: Vol. 1, nos. 2-3 (1924/25), vol. 1, no. 5+
- Elle (Australian edition)
Issues sought: No. 7 (July 1990); no. 51 (May/June 1994); no. 107 (Jan. 1999)
- Shares: your guide to Australia's best stocks (ISSN 1327-5798)
Issues sought: Dec. 2000
- The Picture: Australia's incredible new weekly (ISSN 1033-3258)
Issues sought: Many issues missing - please check catalogue
- Table & kitchen (ISSN 1321-3679)
Issues sought: Aug./Sept. 1999
- Wise's Western Australia post office directory
Issues sought: 1938/39; 1948; 1950+
The National Library collects printed ephemera and is interested menus in the following categories:
- Special occasion menus - these may be associated with a particular function. For example, touring sporting teams such as MCC cricket teams, visits by international dignitaries, dinners associated with the opening of prominent exhibitions, buildings and special commemorative functions.
- Overseas menus - menus from restaurants in other countries having a particularly Australian 'flavour' - these usually have a particularly Australian theme both in the design of the menu as well as the names and nature of the dishes offered on it.
- Shipping line menus - any menus that may have been produced for a particular voyage to Australia. These may also include cruise ships using Australia as a base.
- Airline menus - particularly non-Australian airlines, which may have produced a menu for an Australian leg of an international flight. These may be particularly useful for wine lists served on these flights.
- Restaurant menus in general - particularly unusual and interesting menus, including those from large hotels to small boutique type restaurants. The National Library is particularly interested in acquiring a sample of menus from all areas of Australia. Menus from restaurants with an ethnic flavour illustrate the multicultural aspects of Australian society in the late 20th and 21st centuries.