Mitchell and Dixson Collections
The printed book collections of the Mitchell and Dixson Libraries form a world-renowned research collection relating to Australia and especially New South Wales. The collections contain over 800,000 items in a variety of formats.
These formats include books (some of which are unique), magazines and journals, government reports, pamphlets, posters, performance programs, sheet music, microfilm, microfiche, CD-ROMs and databases, the internet, newspaper cuttings, bookjackets, playbills and ephemera such as menus and invitations.
The Mitchell Library printed book collection is based on the collection of David Scott Mitchell, Australia's first and greatest collector of Australiana. The Library was opened in 1910 and many thousands of items have been added to the Library since it opened. The collection continues to grow through donations, purchases and Legal Deposit provisions whereby a copy of every newly published item in New South Wales must be deposited with the State Library.
Therefore the Mitchell Library printed book collection is used for both historical and contemporary research.
The Dixson Library printed book collection has over 20,000 printed items. The Library is a closed collection and was the personal collection of Sir William Dixson (1870–1952).
The Mitchell Library and Dixson Library printed book collections represent the published history of Australia and especially New South Wales. Collection strengths include exploration of the Pacific, inland exploration of Australia, Australian literature, Australian theatre, Australian arts, Australian architecture, Indigenous material, Australian sport, the natural history of Australia, exploration of Antarctica, the south west Pacific for the nineteenth century and biography.