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Published November 3rd 2019
Visit the most extensive reference library in Australia
Filled with history, collections including Australian and General, Asian, Pictures and Manuscripts, Reading Rooms, and services, the National Library of Australia in Canberra is a must-add point of interest on your Canberra itinerary!
The Library was formally established by the passage of the National Library Act 1960 (Cth), and functioned as a National Library rather than strictly a Parliamentary Library, almost since its inception.
It is also responsible under the terms of the Act for "maintaining and developing a national collection library material, which includes a comprehensive collection of library material relating to Australia and the Australian people.
Australiana which consists of the recording of the Australian cultural heritage.
Formats of material, from books, journals, websites, and manuscripts, photographs, maps, music, oral history recordings, manuscript papers, and ephemera.
Internet-accessible archive of selected Australian websites called the Pandora Archive.
Australian & General Collection- this includes books, serials, newspapers, maps, posters, music, and printed ephemera, as well as online publications and unpublished material such as manuscripts, pictures, and oral histories.
Rare book materials.
World-class Asian and Pacific collections which augment the Australiana collections.
Asian collections- The Library houses the largest and most actively developing research resource on Asia in Australia, as well as the largest Asian language collections in the Southern Hemisphere.
Pictures and Manuscripts- There is an extensive collection of pictures and manuscript collections. The Manuscript Collection contains around 26 million separate items, which covers an excess of 10,492 metres of shelf space in the Library. The Pictures collection focuses on Australian people, places and events, from European exploration of the South Pacific to contemporary events, artworks and photographs that are of educational value, and importance as historical documents.
The Reading Rooms- The Library is home to various reading rooms, including the ground floor Main Reading Room where the bulk of the Library's Internet access terminals are located, as well as the Newspaper and Family History Zone. Special Collections Reading Room is on the first floor and the Asian Collections on Level 3.
The National Library of Australia is also home to the Exhibition Gallery where fascinating shows can be seen, as well as up to three exhibitions each year exploring a variety of exciting topics from Australian advertising, photography art, literature, history, and design.
The Library also houses the ever-changing Treasures Gallery. The Gallery offers free access to some of Australia's most moving stories. Highlights include intriguing items, including the life of poet Henry Lawson and his fob watch and two of his pens, and Australia's first gold medal for women's swimming won by Fanny Durack at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm.