Dome levels 4 and 5 will be closed to the public from Monday 13 May to Friday 24 May. Visit our refreshed World of the Book exhibition from Saturday 25 May.

Australian football

There is little doubt that the heartland of Australian football is Victoria, where the rules of the game were first drawn up in 1859. It's no surprise, then, that the Library holds a wide range of material related to the game, in a variety of formats.

The collection is particularly strong in books, magazines and pictures, but we also have plays, fiction, poetry, essays and documentary films devoted to the subject. Digitised copies of the Football record are also available online.

Histories of clubs and leagues cover ground far wider than the VFL/AFL clubs and have been collected comprehensively.

Periodical literature ranging from fan newsletters to scholarly research journals indicates the game's popularity at all levels. Many early documents have been digitised, including The sporting globe football book, Wells football cartoons and Australian football: origin and history of the game.

Several photographic collections illustrate the changing nature of the game – the Charles Boyles collection and Le Dawn Studios archive are two significant collections with a football focus.

For a good overview of resources, check out Reading the game: an annotated guide to the literature and films of Australian rules football.