Access to original material and rare printed material

Special collections include manuscripts, pictures, rare maps and printed books from the Mitchell, Dixson and State Reference Libraries.

Conditions apply for access to this material. Some items are subject to restricted access and an appointment is necessary. Arrangements are also required for some of the material located at Offsite storage.

You need a Special Collections Library card view these collections. Special collections are issued in the secure reading area of the Mitchell Library. Where material has been copied, it is Library policy to issue the copy rather than the original.

Sign up for a Special Collections Library card.

If you are planning to view material from special collections, please contact us beforehand to ensure that it is available and that no restrictions apply. For contact, Ask a Librarian.

See our Special Collections guidelines [PDF 27.67KB] for more details.

Manuscript collections

Manuscript collections are viewed in the secure reading area of the Mitchell Library, although it may be necessary to make an appointment to see some collections, such as those subject to Restricted access which are unprocessed or copied. Where collections are copied, it is Library policy to issue the copy rather than the original. Note that the collections are indexed both in the Manuscripts, Oral History & Pictures Catalogue and in the card catalogues in the Mitchell Library Reading Rooms.

For enquires about the Manuscript collections, Ask a Librarian.

Picture collections

Picture collections are viewed in the secure reading area of the Mitchell Library, although it is necessary to make an appointment to see some items, such as framed works, realia and architectural plans. Where items have been copied, it is Library policy to issue the copy rather than the original. Note that the collections are indexed both in the Manuscripts, Oral History & Pictures Catalogue and in the card catalogues in the Mitchell Library Reading Rooms.

For enquires about the Picture collections, Ask a Librarian.

Oral history collections

Oral history and other sound recordings can be accessed in the Mitchell Library Reading Room. Logs and transcriptions are also available. Only research copies of the master tapes may be issued. Where there are no copies, you may request that they be made. Most of the oral history collection is listed in the Manuscripts, Oral History & Pictures Catalogue.

For enquiries about Oral History collection, Ask a Librarian.

Map collections

Maps can be viewed at the Library. However, it may be necessary to make an appointment to see some material. Where maps have been copied, it is the Library policy to issue the microfilm (negatives mounted in aperture cards) rather than the originals. The computer catalogue, which covers all maps processed since 1992 (less than two per cent of the collection), can be consulted at the Library’s website. Note that the collections are indexed both in the Library Catalogue and in the card catalogues in the Mitchell Library Reading Rooms.

Information on using the map catalogues and collections.

For enquiries about the Map collections, Ask a Librarian.

Restricted collections

Access to some material may be restricted or subject to special conditions. For example, the whole or part of a collection may be closed at the request of the donor for a specified period to protect the privacy of individuals or organisations. Certain collections are available for research with the permission of the donor.

For further details about gaining access to restricted collections, please Ask a Librarian.

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Macquarie St, Sydney
NSW 2000, Australia
Tel: (02) 9273 1414

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