The Library’s manuscript collections are some of the richest and most significant in Australia.
Dating from the seventeenth century through to the present day, they comprise the personal papers of individuals and the archives of private organisations and businesses. The collections include letters, diaries, journals, literary works, business papers, note books and memoirs.
Research strengths include Australia's foundation documents such as First Fleet diaries, European exploration of the Pacific and Australia, colonial life, Indigenous Australians, missionaries, literary papers, Antarctica, World War I diaries, performing arts, politics, sport, immigration, agriculture, gay and lesbian life and culture, law, home life, family history and local history, popular culture and the built environment.
The collections are wide ranging and provide rich evidence of the lives, society and activities of Australians from all walks of life.
Finding items in the Manuscript collection
Use our research guide to find and use items in the manuscript collection.
Collection Development Policy
This policy provides information about the Library's collections and collecting priorities.
You are welcome to copy material or order copies from the Library’s collections provided you meet the requirements of the Australian Copyright Act and any special requirements that may apply to material that is original, unpublished or culturally sensitive.
Donating items to the collection
Donations of published and original material to the Mitchell Library help strengthen our historical and research collections.
Preservation and storage
Our fact sheets provide information about caring for particular materials.