Catalogue service interruption: Due to an upgrade, the catalogue will be unavailable from 9pm AEST on Wednesday, 3 September until 10am AEST Thursday, 4 September. We apologise for any inconvenience.

La Trobe Reading Room event: A traditional Chinese drum performance will be held in the La Trobe Reading Room on Thursday 4 September, from 6pm until 6.10pm. More information

Catalogue service interruption & La Trobe Reading Room event
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Rare Printed collections

Rare Printed collections group together several of the Library’s special collections: Australian Rare Books, Children’s Literature Research, MV Anderson Chess, Maps and Rare Books.

Together with the Australian Manuscripts and Pictures Collections, these heritage collections comprise a body of material of international significance.

The collections are regularly drawn upon for exhibitions.

Policies relating to this collection can be downloaded below.

Collection strengths

Rare Printed collections are strong in areas that the Library has traditionally emphasised and continues to prioritise.

Australian Rare Books

The Australian Rare Books collection is one of the most complete collections of early and rare Australian imprints and works relating to Australia.

Children’s Literature Research

The Children's Literature Research collection contains children’s books from the 16th to 21st centuries.


The Maps collection contains cartographic information in a range of formats, including maps, atlases and gazetteers.

MV Anderson Chess

The MV Anderson Chess collection contains books, pamphlets, tournament reports and magazines for chess players and historians.

Rare Books

The Rare Books collection contains international rare books with interesting illustrations, fine bindings, imprints, typography and paper.