view inside the Treasures Gallery

Ten years in the making, the Treasures Gallery opened in October last year, with many of the Library’s greatest treasures – from James Cook’s EndeavourJournal to the papers of Edward Koiki Mabo – now on show in Canberra in the free, permanent exhibition. 

‘It became clear more than 10 years ago when thousands of people queued around the building, day and night, to see the Treasures from the World’s Great Libraries exhibition, of the need to establish our own Treasures Gallery,’ Ms Schwirtlich said. 

‘And thanks to many years of dedicated work by Library staff and our supporters, that wish came true. 

‘Today I am delighted to welcome the 50,000th visitor to this remarkable exhibition.’ 

 Some of the treasures now on show in the new gallery include:

  • James Cook’s Endeavour Journal
  • Australia’s earliest existing printed document – a 1796 theatre playbill
  • The original Waltzing Matilda manuscript
  • William Bligh’s notebook and listing of the Bounty mutineers
  • Patrick White’s unpublished notebooks – and glasses
  • Donald Friend’s ‘lost’ wartime diaries
  • Jorn Utzon’s model for the Opera House shells
  • Azaria Chamberlain’s hospital identity anklet
  • Edward Koiki Mabo’s diary, self-portrait and manuscript map

 For high-res images from the Treasures Gallery, go to

 Media Contact:  Sally Hopman 0401 226 697 or