"A great library is a place where individuals and communities can find out who they are, where they are from and where they might be going. A great library introduces new generations to the pleasures of learning, exploration and reflection. A great library serves its readers, responds to their specific needs but never tells them what to think." – Dr John Vallance, State Librarian
The State Library of NSW is one of the great libraries of the world, with a history dating back to 1826. Since then, we have been collecting all kinds of materials that help tell the rich and diverse story of NSW and Australia.
There are more than six million items in the Library’s collection, including books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, paintings, architectural plans, objects and digital content.
New materials are added every day, so that future generations will know their history.
Almost one million readers and visitors walk through our doors each year to think, meet and work in our inspiring spaces. They use the collection, explore our galleries and enjoy our cultural and learning programs. Many more visit us online to access the catalogue and information services, view digitised works, and read stories about our collections.
In the community, the State Library works in partnership with public libraries to support and improve their services for the people of NSW. This is our commitment under the terms of the Library Act 1939.
We’re working with Indigenous communities to enrich the Library’s collections with their knowledge, events and stories, and to share community language material in culturally appropriate ways.
And our outreach programs make it possible for people across the state, especially those in regional areas, to experience significant Australian artefacts and records in their schools, libraries and community centres.
The State Library is a shared space where everyone is welcome.