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The National Library of Australia’s special collections include rare books and journals, artworks, photographs, maps, sheet music, oral history recordings, manuscript papers, ephemera and more. This material can be accessed in the Special Collections Reading Room on level 1 of the Library building.
This guide provides information on how you can request, access and use these collections.
To protect the unique collection materials used in the room please note that bags, food and drink are not permitted in the Special Collections Reading Room. These and other large objects such as umbrellas can be stored in our free self-service lockers on Lower Ground 1.
The Special Collections Reading Room is open Monday to Thursday 10am-8pm, Friday to Saturday 10am-5pm and is closed on Sundays and public holidays. See our opening hours page for full details.
Collection material is delivered to the Special Collections Reading Room three times each weekday based on a cut off time for submitting a request. See our collection delivery times page for further details.
Facilities within the Special Collections Reading Room includes:
The Petherick Reading Room is co-located within the Special Collections Reading Room and provides a dedicated space for readers undertaking intensive research.
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