National Library of Australia

  • NLA


Parkes Place


+61-2 6262 1266
+61-2 6262 1434


+61-2 6273 5081


Created in 1960 by the National Library Act, by the end of June 2019 its collection contained 7,717,579 items, with its manuscript material occupying 17,950 metres (58,890 ft) of shelf space. The NLA also hosts and manages the renowned Trove cultural heritage discovery service, which includes access to the Australian Web Archive and National edeposit (NED), a large collection of digitised newspapers, official documents, manuscripts and images, as well as born-digital material.

Mandates/Sources of Authority

The Library’s preservation role is mandated by the National Library Act 1960.

Records Management and Collecting Policies

The Library acquires collection items either from external sources or through its own content creation activities (such as digitisation, photographic or oral history commissions).

For materials acquired for long term retention and use, the Library acquires the best available copy, and encourages the use of appropriate stable and manageable materials and formats where these exist. The Library considers the likely costs of ongoing preservation in making decisions to acquire materials for the collections.

The Library sets and monitors standards for materials, formats and metadata for items it creates or commissions itself, aimed at minimising the later costs of preserving such material.


The present library building was opened on 15 August 1968 by Prime Minister John Gorton. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Bunning and Madden in the Late Twentieth Century Stripped Classical style. The foyer is decorated in marble, with stained-glass windows by Leonard French and three tapestries by Mathieu Matégot. The building was listed on the Australian Commonwealth Heritage List on 22 June 2004. A Tom Bass sculpture called Lintel Sculpture is installed over the entrance to the library.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

Approximately 92.1% of the Library's collection has been catalogued and is discoverable through the online catalogue.

Opening Times

Monday to Thursday 10am to 8pm

Friday and Saturday*: 10 am to 5 pm

Sunday*: 1.30 pm to 5 pm

Special Collections and Petherick reading rooms are closed on Sundays

Public holidays Closed

*Collection requests are not delivered on weekends. Check collection delivery times to make the most of your visit.


The Library has a range of accessibility features, including: accessible entrance with ramps on the southern side of the building, accessible parking off Parkes Pl, wheelchairs are available for loan from the foyer information desk, BindiMaps (app designed to assist visitors with low vision or blindness to navigate the building), visual aids available in the Main Reading Room, hearing induction loop in the theatre, free WiFi and powerpoints, a Parents Room and free lockers available for use located on the Lower Ground level.

Reproduction Services

The National Library is a reference library—you can use collection items in our reading rooms but you can't take them home. You can use your library card to print, copy and scan in the reading rooms.

If you can't make it to the Library there are copying and interlibrary loans services for individuals and for libraries.


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