Our Manuscripts collections are wide ranging and provide rich evidence of the lives and activities of Australians who have shaped our society.

The Library's Manuscripts collections tell the stories and endeavours of individuals and organisations, offering first hand insights into events, people and places significant in Australia's history.

Ranging from single items to large collections, they comprise a wide variety of unpublished materials including letters, diaries, sketches and artworks, notebooks, maps, photographs, literary works, organisational records, blogs and many other types of records in both paper and digital form.

Our Manuscript collection includes many outstanding single items and small collections from the colonial period, but its greatest strength dates from the 1890s and Australia's development as a nation. The collections predominantly relate to Australia, but there are also important holdings relating to Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and the Pacific.

As part of the Library's mission to document all aspects of Australian life, we actively collect the papers and records of individuals and organisations that reflect the diversity of Australian society, culture, environments and political systems. While most of our collecting relates to recent Australian life, earlier materials are acquired as opportunities arise.