Government & law

The Library has the largest publicly accessible collection of Victorian and Australian government and law publications in Victoria. It contains both contemporary and historical material.

The Library's law collection is made up of legislation and law reports from Victoria and Australia and also contains plain-language resources, reference materials and works that popularise aspects of the law such as descriptions of famous trials, biographies and histories.

We subscribe to a range of eresources covering legal topics. Library members can explore Lexis Advance Pacific from home to find law cases, encyclopaedias and legal commentaries. eResources freely accessible outside the Library include the Law handbook online and Austlii (Australasian Legal Information Institute).

The Library holds many significant government publications, including the 1902 Commonwealth Franchise Act that granted women the right to vote and stand for election for the Australian parliament on the same basis as men.

Government reports and inquiries that have formed the basis of major social reforms in Australia and overseas have been collected and are still collected in the 21st century, including bushfire reports and royal commissions covering Victorian fires. Due to legal deposit and exchange arrangements, we have a vast collection of these documents.

The Library also has an extensive collection of historic U.K. parliamentary papers, Hansard, law reports and the London gazette, as well as collections of material from the United States and Canada. International treaties and documents from the United Nations, the former League of Nations and European Communities are also well represented.