State Library Victoria is the custodian of a rich collection of historical and contemporary Ned Kelly material, which has been acquired and donated over the years.
Key historical material includes the Jerilderie letter, Ned Kelly’s armour and death mask, family photographs, police telegrams and photographs, newspaper reports, letters, minutes from the 1880 Royal Commission into the Kelly Outbreak and books written about the bushranger by authors and historians from the 19th century to today.
Kelly’s cultural impact from the 19th century onwards is also well represented. Material relating to the 1906, 1970 (starring Mick Jagger) and 2003 (starring Heath Ledger) film versions of Kelly’s story is complemented by Peter Carey’s papers (an archive acquired from the author of the 2001 Booker Prize-winning novel The true history of the Kelly gang).
The Library continues to acquire and receive donations and long-term loans of Kelly-related material.
Digital material about the Kelly story can be explored by:
- browsing or searching our catalogue to view, download for free, or order (for a fee) digitised manuscripts and photographs
- viewing material on ergo, our research and study website for students
- reading articles about Kelly in the Library’s La Trobe Journal, newspapers, journals and ebooks
- watching videos, including a virtual reconstruction of Kelly’s armour and the relocation of the armour in 2021.
The Library has a large collection of books about Ned Kelly. These cover Ned Kelly fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. These and other non-heritage items can be requested for on-site viewing at the Library.
Ned Kelly's armour is now on display in the South Rotunda. However, please note, the armour will relocate from South Rotunda to the Redmond Barry Reading Room in October 2023.
The armour will be removed from display on 2 October and will be installed in its new location in November. We expect the armour to be off display for around a month. Find out more.