Hands picking at strands of paper on map

Conserving the collection

Your gift helps to protect rare and fragile books, manuscripts, pictures, journals, photographs, maps and other items for future generations.

The Library preserves the original material in the collections to ensure its security and accessibility for future generations. This is achieved through best-practice storage and handling, digitisation and expert conservation.  

Donations to the Foundation allow the Library to invest in the highest-quality conservation facilities, providing the resources necessary to care for our valuable collection. 

Examples of Foundation-funded projects that have enhanced the conservation of the collection are listed below.  

New conservation laboratories

Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of Len Ainsworth AM, the Foundation is funding the Ainsworth Conservation Laboratories, which will enable world-class conservation of the Library’s irreplaceable collection and, with state-of-the-art equipment, meet the highest conservation standards. 

It is a critical requirement for the Library to have a space that meets the requirements of our skilled conservators as they undertake preventative and restorative conservation work.

Collection item in the process of being conserved.

Governor Macquarie papers

With the support of the Macquarie Group Foundation and The John Lamble Foundation the conservation of the significant collection of Governor Macquarie’s personal and family papers was funded. This collection is large and diverse and consists of manuscripts, journals, diaries, letterbooks and certificates, comprising some 20 volumes with over 2,000 pages, and covers the period from 1787-1844. 

View the catalogue record for Lachlan Macquarie and the Macquarie family aggregated collection of papers, pictorial and other material, 1787-1844

Explore more conservation projects

Captain James Cook Journal

Conserved, 2018

Read more


Sponsor a Painting

Established, 2018

Read more

Wentworth family papers

Conserved, 2013–16

Read more

Sophia O'Brien, 1841 / Maurice Felton

Portrait of Sophia O'Brien

Conserved, 2017

Read more

Large illustration of a city site.

Norman Selfe maps and plans

Conserved, 2018

Read more

Matthew Flinders archive

Conserved and digitised, 2001

Read more