Due to the need to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Library building has been closed to visitors until further notice – this includes our reading rooms, exhibition galleries, Bookshop and cafes. Read more...

We operate a collection delivery service because most of our collections are held in closed book stacks not open for public browsing. You need to order in advance via the catalogue.

Delivery schedules:

For weekend use of material kept offsite, submit your request by 8:00am Fridays.

Temporary delivery time changes: February to May 2020

There are two activities impacting on our delivery times:

  1. Building works scheduled February to May 2020. Some manuscripts will be affected. Please see temporary manuscript delivery time changes.
  2. Collection move scheduled in March 2020. Some books will be temporarily unavailable. Speak with Library staff for further information or Ask a Librarian.

Log into the catalogue and check the progress of your requests as some requests may be delayed or not delivered.

Delivered from onsite storage

This material is kept onsite at the National Library of Australia. Request your material within the times below. Delivery is usually within 45 minutes.

  Monday to Thursday Friday Saturday & Sunday
Main Reading Room 10am - 5pm 10am - 3:45pm No deliveries
Main Reading Room - Newspapers and Family History 10am - 5pm 10am - 3:45pm No deliveries
Asian Collections Reading Room* 10am - 4:30pm 10am - 4:30pm Closed

*Speak with staff in the Asian Collections Reading Room to arrange access to Asian Collection materials on Saturdays or Monday to Thursday evenings.

Special collections delivered from onsite

Our Special collections comprise manuscripts, pictures, maps, oral histories, rare books, sheet music and ephemera and are clearly identified in the Library’s catalogue. Special collections are delivered to the Special Collections Reading Room three times a day as below.

  Cut-off times for requests For delivery by
Monday to Friday

8:30am (overnight requests)






Saturday No deliveries No deliveries
Sunday Closed Closed

Some manuscript collections require four weeks’ notice – these collections are clearly identified in the Library's Catalogue.

Delivered from offsite storage

This material is kept at storage facilities in Canberra and is delivered to the National Library of Australia. Material kept offsite is delivered once a day.

  Cut-off times for requests For delivery by
Monday to Friday

8:00am (overnight requests)


Saturday & Sunday

No deliveries

No deliveries

Collection material kept offsite is clearly identified in the catalogue and comprises mainly:

  • Printed newspapers published before 1 January 2011 (microfilm holdings are stored onsite);
  • Overseas journals (magazines and serials) published before 1 January 2005;
  • Some manuscripts collection material;
  • Some overseas published material.

Temporary manuscript delivery time changes

Due to building works some manuscripts will not be available from late March to early May.

See staff in the Special Collections Reading Room or Ask a Librarian for more information on the availability of the particular manuscript collections you wish to use.

Requests for manuscripts that cannot be delivered will be cancelled with a message of Unavailable - please see staff. Log into the catalogue to see the progress of your requests.