Acquisitions and donations

How you can help us build the Library’s collections. 

Old books and parchments

The Library welcomes 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.

The Library is 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).

Material the Library accepts

The Library generally acquires or accepts donated material if the material meets at least one of the following criteria, and that it’s not already in the Library’s collections. Please check the Library catalogue.

  • 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.

Material the Library doesn't accept

The Library doesn't usually accept:

  • 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)
  • photocopies of original material
  • photocopies of publications
  • government records
  • materials that are still required for ongoing use (e.g. current business records)
  • materials that are more suitable for another collecting institution.

Learn more about material the Library collects.

How to make an offer

You can offer material as a donation or for acquisition.

Please check the Library catalogue to see if material is already held in the Library’s collection.

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.

Collection offers form

What happens next

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

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
1 Shakespeare Place
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.