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Finding, requesting & deliveries

Please note: All collection items will need to be ordered two business days in advance, and you will need to separately book to visit the Library on the same day. Read our Frequently Asked Questions for details about collection access and retrieval times.

The Library has over five million items and counting – so we need to store them in different places. The catalogue shows storage locations for every item, and tells you how to request items for use at the Library. This location information is underneath the title and publication details in your search results.

On this page we explain the most common location information statements in the Library’s catalogue.

Available online

Click the link to access the item. Many items are freely available, others require you to sign in with your Library member details for access. For more information, see accessing eresources from home and finding articles.

Request from [location]

Use your Library member details to sign in and ‘request' the item.

  • Click on the title or on the ‘Available’ statement (circled above) to go to the full record view.
  • Sign in, if you haven’t already, and open each ‘Available’ statement to check which copies, volumes or issues the Library stores at each location.
  • Choose a volume or issue by selecting ‘Request’.
  • All collection items will need to be ordered two business days in advance.
  • You can request up to ten items at a time
  • Requests may be collected from staff at the service point in the Redmond Barry Reading Room.
  • You can request to have an item held for you for up to seven days. You will need to make a separate booking to return to the Library within the week to continue using your held items. Visitors can book one session per day up to a week in advance.

Phone 03 8664 7002 to arrange access/delivery

Some items are stored offsite or in a special collection such as Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps or Pictures. We will order this material for you and requests must be made in advance.

  • You can ring us on the number listed – have your Library member details ready, or if you're at the Library, speak to staff in the Gateway Zone.
  • All collection items need to be ordered two business days in advance.
  • Offsite material is delivered to either the Redmond Barry Reading Room or Heritage Collections Reading Room – we will let you know.
  • All special collection items are delivered to the Heritage Collections Reading Room.
  • Microfiche and microfilm are delivered to the Newspapers & Family History Reading Rooms
  • Please also note: to order Manuscripts or Pictures material you will need to provide collection or item identifiers. You can find this information on the catalogue record. For large collections you will also need to provide specific box numbers or details about the section of the collection you would like to request. If a finding aid has been created for the collection, you will be able to find this information in the finding aid. Finding aids provide additional information to catalogue records and indicate the specific boxes or containers material is located in within a collection.

Check other locations

This may apply to items of which we have multiple copies, or to journals with volumes stored in several different places. For more information, first open the full record view and then check the ‘Available’ statement.

For journals and newspapers, click each location in turn to find out more about our holdings – we don't always have every issue of a title. See screenshot below.

In the screenshot below, you can see the ‘YA’ location for this item expanded to show the 'summary holdings' statement and a listing of the issues and volumes located at the Offsite Store.

This item cannot be requested at present

Because of the potentially greater risk of infection due to a higher number of touchpoints, we have had to temporarily restrict access to some collection items. We will keep you updated on when we can make these items available.

Ask at desk

If you see this message, ask a librarian and we'll help you work out what to do next.