The Library is pleased to report that construction of the new Special Collections Reading Room on Level 1 is nearing completion. The lovely new space overlooking the Main Reading Room will open on schedule on Monday 5 January 2015. Readers will then have direct access to the Library’s pictures, maps, manuscripts, oral history recordings, music, ephemera and rare printed material collections in one place for the first time. You can now begin to plan your research visit. 

All access to special collections and specialist curatorial advice will be provided in this new space. The existing Pictures and Manuscripts and Maps Reading Rooms will close from 5 January and those collections will be delivered to the new Special Collections Reading Room. The Petherick Reading Room will also move up from the ground floor to be located on Level 1 within the Special Collections Reading Room as of 5 January. All reading rooms, including the Main Reading Room, will be closed between Thursday 25 December and Sunday 4 January 2015 inclusive to facilitate the transition. View all summer opening hours

The opening of the new Special Collections Reading Room is an important first stage in the Library’s renovation plans for 2015. Following the opening, construction will begin on the ground floor to create a new newspapers and microforms area and dedicated family history zone in an expanded Main Reading Room. Later in 2015, the public area near the paperplate café on Lower Ground 1 will be enlarged to include an informal study space with improved internet access.

As well as providing enlarged, integrated reading rooms, the renovations will modernise and upgrade the building’s infrastructure such as air conditioning and fire systems, improve environmental sustainability and meet compliance requirements mandated in the Building Code.

To ensure that noise and any inconvenience to visitors and staff is kept to a minimum, major building works will be carried out after hours.

The project is being managed from within existing Government funding allocated to the National Library of Australia to maintain the building. View more information about the building works