Library early closure: The Library will close at 5pm on Thursday 23 October to prepare for the annual Keith Murdoch Oration. More information

Facade conservation & repair works: Over the next few weeks there will be intermittent noise in the La Trobe Reading Room while work is carried out on the external walls. More information

Library early closure & facade conservation works
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Arts collection

The Arts collection covers the visual and decorative arts, photography, music, theatre, dance, film, radio and television.

Policies relating to this collection can be downloaded below.

Collection strengths

International in scope, the collection represents important schools, movements and genres across all of its subjects. Popular culture is strongly represented in areas such as local and international rock and popular music, film studies, photography, graphic novels and comic books from the 1920s to the present.

Material relating to Australia is collected at an advanced level, with particular emphasis given to Victoria. This national collecting is shared with other parts of the Library, most specifically the Australian History & Literature collection.

The international branch of the collection is built on a strong tradition of Western culture across all of the main subjects, with strengths in European and American material. This has been broadened in recent years to increase the profile of other cultures, most notably those of the Asia–Pacific region.

Collecting across the three main subject areas of the arts is generally aimed at a level suitable for advanced study.


The art collection includes the history, philosophy and theory of the visual arts, including sculpture, photography, and the graphic and decorative arts.


The music collection covers the history, philosophy, theory and practice of music.

Performing arts

The performing arts collection covers all forms of performance, including film, theatre, radio and television.


Art policy [135.79 KB]
Music policy [115.16 KB]