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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Redmond Barry Collection

The Redmond Barry Collection comprises extensive historical and current collections in the social sciences, humanities, government and law, and science and technology.

These collections of Australian and overseas publications support independent researchers in most fields.

Policies relating to this collection can be downloaded below.

Collection strengths

Major strengths of the collection are:

  • 19th- and early 20th-century serials covering all subjects
  • reference works, including encyclopedias and dictionaries
  • World War I and military regimental histories
  • historical scientific works
  • government publications from around the world

The collection includes standard and significant works on most topics. Current collecting is strongest for social sciences and humanities, especially history, and aims to support independent study in many areas.

While we continue to collect print publications, books and journals, digital resources are now a major component of the collecting policy, enabling access to a greater range of information and providing improved searching capability for onsite and remote library users.

Where materials are available in both print and digital formats, the digital format is preferred.


The humanities collection covers architecture, geography, history, language and linguistics, literature, and philosophy and religion.

Law & government

The law and government collection includes law reports, legislation, historical Australian and international government publications.

Science & technology

The science and technology collection encompasses agriculture, biological science, chemistry, computer science, medicine, astronomy.

Social sciences

The social sciences collection covers anthropology, economics, education, library sciences, sport, psychology and sociology.