Two people sitting and reading books in the Petherick Reading Room

Please check our COVID-Safe visit information before you arrive.

Please note that there are no collection deliveries in evenings or on weekends and that delivery times vary throughout the week. Check delivery times before you visit.

The Petherick Reading Room provides facilities, staff support and additional privileges for readers who are undertaking advanced research and require more intensive or ongoing access to the National Library’s collections than is offered through the Main Reading Room.

It is co-located within the Special Collections Reading Room on Level 1 of the Library.

Researchers may apply for Petherick Reader status if they intend to undertake advanced research and intensively use the Library’s collections onsite. Many Petherick Readers are, for example, writing a book or conducting other long-term or in-depth research, or undertaking shorter term research as a visiting scholar.

Applications for a Petherick Reader’s card should demonstrate both a proven record of research and a need to use a significant amount of material relevant to the Library’s collection strengths.

Successful applicants are issued with a Petherick Reader’s card for a time period that is appropriate to the expected duration of their research.

If you are undertaking advanced research and need to visit the Library to make long-term use of the Library’s collections you may apply for a Petherick Reader’s card.

Further information about Petherick registration and guidelines is available on the website. If you would like to know more consult the Petherick Guidelines or Ask A Librarian.

Opening Hours

Monday to Thursday


Friday to Saturday


Sundays and public holidays


View all Reading Room Opening Hours