Acquisitions and donations

Learn how you can help us build the Library’s collections.

Man looking through magnifying glass

We welcome acquisition and donation offers for published and original material. Your offers help us to build diverse, surprising and comprehensive collections and to document life in New South Wales for current and future generations.

We’re interested in receiving offers for a wide range of material, such as:

  • manuscripts
  • books
  • newspapers and magazines
  • photographs
  • organisational records
  • pictures (such as paintings, watercolours, prints, drawings, framed works)
  • maps and plans
  • ephemera (such as posters, postcards, pamphlets)
  • digital publications (such as websites, blogs).

What we accept

We generally acquire or accept donated material if the material meets at least one of the following criteria (and that it’s not already in the Library’s collections – check our catalogues).

  • published or created in New South Wales
  • about New South Wales
  • created by a New South Wales resident or person with a connection to New South Wales
  • associated with an individual who is significant in New South Wales history
  • about Antarctica
  • about the 18th and 19th century south-west Pacific region.

What we don’t accept

We usually don’t accept:

  • materials that are already in the Library's collections – check our catalogues
  • materials that are in poor condition
  • textbooks and technical material not originating in New South Wales
  • theses and dissertations
  • self-published material not originating in New South Wales
  • non-Australian fiction
  • objects (such as flags, clothing, cloth, jewellery, instruments)
  • copies of original material
  • copies of publications
  • government records
  • materials that are still required for ongoing use (such as current business records)
  • materials that are more suitable for another collecting institution.

Learn more about what the Library collects.

How to make an offer

Published material

You can offer published material as a donation or for acquisition.

Complete the collection offers form to let us know about the material you would like to offer. Help us to fast track your offer by including as much information (such as a content list) as you can. We recommend checking the Library’s catalogues before completing the form as we usually don’t accept material that’s already part of the Library’s collections.

What happens next

We will assess your offer using the Collection Development policy and other supporting policies such as the Collection Acquisitions policy and Collection Donations policy.

After we’ve completed our assessment we’ll let you know whether your offer has been accepted and we’ll discuss the next steps.

If we accept your donation, you will need to complete the Collection Donations Declaration. You can choose to either deliver the material and the signed declaration in-person or send to:

Collections Acquisition Officer
State Library of New South Wales
Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Haven’t heard from us?

We receive a lot of offers and it can take some time to assess each one. You can check online the progress of your offer anywhere, anytime.

You can send us donated material without completing the collection offer form. Unsolicited donations that we don’t accept may be offered to another collecting institution or discarded. We do not respond to unsolicited donations.

We will add acquired and donated published material to the Library's catalogue.

Unpublished material

You can offer unpublished material as a donation or for acquisition.

Complete the collection offers form to let us know about the material you would like to offer. Help us to fast track your offer by including as much information (such as a content list) as you can.

What happens next

We will assess your offer using the Collection Development policy and other supporting policies such as the Collection Acquisitions policy and Collection Donations policy. We may need to conduct a site visit to view and assess the material for large and complex offers.

After we’ve completed our assessment we’ll let you know whether your offer has been accepted and we’ll discuss the next steps. We may accept part or the whole offer.

Haven’t heard back?

We receive a lot of offers and it can take some time to assess each one. You can check the progress of your offer online anytime, anywhere.

We will add acquired and donated unpublished material to the Library's catalogue.