Reconciliation Day Public Holiday

All National Library reading rooms will be closed on Reconciliation Day, Monday 28 May.  Regular reading room hours will resume on Tuesday 29 May. See our holiday opening hours for more information.

Treasures Gallery

Treasures Gallery

Patrick White's glasses

10:00am-5:00pm daily

Treasures Gallery, Ground floor


No booking required

To be able to see, in the same room, some of the most notable and moving stories in Australian history, whether it is Waltzing Matilda, First World War items such as Keith Murdoch’s Gallipoli Letter or exquisite colonial watercolours: it's a unique and thought-provoking experience. — Nat Williams, Treasures Curator

The Treasures Gallery highlights the extraordinary holdings of the National Library of Australia. From maps and rare books to manuscripts, photographs, oil paintings and watercolours, here is where you will find many of the Library’s most important items. Be intrigued, surprised, challenged and amazed by the stories these unique treasures tell.

Displays are changed regularly to preserve the treasures for future generations.

View current exhibition highlights

See one of the rarest maps in the world, the newly restored Blaeu Map, on display for a limited time. See the handwritten journals Burke and Wills kept in their final hours, Henry Lawson's fobwatch and pens, and a rare early Chinese-English phrasebook from 1892 that offers some insight into life for early Chinese settlers in Australia.

You'll also find Australia's first gold medal for women's swimming, won by Fanny Durack at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, the landmark papers of Edward Koiki Mabo and much more.

Free tours of the Treasures Gallery are available daily at 11.30am.

The Treasures Gallery is free and open every day, except Christmas Day and Good Friday.

The Library warmly thanks our Treasures Gallery supporters. Their generosity has made it possible to bring these treasures to life for the whole community.