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Using the Library’s collections

Learn how to request collection items for use within the Library, and how to find and explore our online material.

Getting started

Use the catalogue to find material in the Library’s collections including articles, books, photographs, maps, manuscripts and much more.

For more information, troubleshooting tips and detailed how-to’s, refer to the Help using our catalogue page.

As we are a reference library we can’t lend you books to take home, however many of our collection items are available online.

Become a Library member to reserve collection items for use within the Library, to access thousands of eresources, and to be able to order copies and extracts of collection items.

How to request material

The Library has over five million items and counting – some items are available from the shelf, while others are stored in different places. The catalogue shows locations for every item, and tells you how to request access if the item is in storage.

Members can reserve collection items for use within the Library for a designated period of time (up to seven days depending on the item).

See our current collection retrieval times for delivery details.

Learn more about finding, requesting and deliveries.

How to access Heritage Collections items

Heritage Collections items can be ordered via a librarian and accessed in the Heritage Collections Reading Room, by appointment. All Heritage Collection items will be available from two business days following your request.

Contact us via the Ask a Librarian service to order Heritage Collections items such as manuscripts, maps, hardcopy newspapers, pictures and rare books.

How to request copies of collection items

Copies of collection items which aren’t already digitised can be ordered directly through the catalogue using our Direct Delivery service.

Refer to our guide to ordering copies of collection items for more information on what can be copied, how to place an order and pricing information.