The Library is open. See frequently asked questions.

Special Collections area

The Special Collections area is a dedicated space to use original material and rare printed material from the Library's collections.


The State Library will reopen with limited services and reduced capacity on Monday 11 October 2021.

The Mitchell Library Reading Room, including the Special Collections area, is temporarily closed while the ceiling is being repainted. The Mitchell Library Reading Room will reopen in late October, followed by the Special Collections area soon after.

Using the area

Mitchell Library Reading Room from above with bookcases and desks

Visit the Special Collections area to use original material and rare printed material from the Library's collections, including:

  • manuscripts
  • pictures
  • rare books
  • maps.

The Australian Reference collection is located on the shelves surrounding the Special Collections area.

You can also request and use material from Dixson Collection in this area.

Staff in the Special Collections area can help you with your research and using the collections.

Special Collections card

You will need a Special Collections card to use material from these collections. If you already have a Library card, visit the Special Collections area and we will update your card to a Special Collections card.

Don't have a Library card? Sign up online and then visit the Special Collections area to collect your card.

Learn more about getting a Special Collections card including what identification you need to bring.

Things to know when you visit

  • Follow the Special Collections - Conditions of use
  • Bags are not allowed however you can hire a locker to store your bag.
  • Food and drinks including bottled water are not allowed.
  • Only pencils can be used. No pens.
  • Closed on Sundays.

You will need to complete a form to bring your own books and magazines into the Special Collections area. The form is available at the entrance.


Find the Special Collections area at the southern end of the Mitchell Library Reading Room.