State Library of New South Wales, Sydney

Identity area



Authorized form of name

State Library of New South Wales, Sydney

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name

  • Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, Sydney


  • State

Contact area



Street address

Macquarie Street, Sydney




New South Wales

Country name

Postal code



02 9273 1414




Description area

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

The State Library of New South Wales is situated across two buildings in the Sydney central business district – the historic Mitchell Library Building and the newer Macquarie Street Building. Access to the Library’s manuscript collections and other original materials is provided in the Special Collections Area, located in the Mitchell Building. See

Records management and collecting policies

The Library’s primary priority in collecting is to document the development of Australia and New South Wales and to create a collection that reflects the cultural heritage of New South Wales in both the Australian and international contexts.

This is achieved through targeted collecting of a broad and representative range of published and original material, including rare printed material, originating in New South Wales, Australia and internationally complemented by in depth collecting to further develop collection strengths. See



The holdings consist of personal papers and private archives created primarily in New South Wales or relating to New South Wales and its people. They also include significant collections relating to Antarctica.

The papers of individuals cover the full spectrum of society. The private archives include those of community organisations, professional and trade associations, political parties, trades unions, small businesses, private schools, hospitals and churches.

An earlier, wider collecting focus has resulted in important holdings relating to other states particularly for their foundation periods and extensive collections relating to the Pacific, especially nineteenth century missionary records. There is also a small collection of European illuminated manuscripts. Excluding the latter, the holdings cover the period from the seventeenth century to the present day. See

Finding aids, guides and publications

Information about some of the Library’s significant collections and access to the online catalogue are available at:

Refine your catalogue search to “Manuscripts, oral histories and images” to search for archival material.

Access area

Opening times

Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room:

  • Monday to Thursday 9am-8pm
  • Friday 9am-5pm
  • Weekends 10am*-5pm.

[*On weekends, the collection and information services in the inner part of Lower Ground 1 and all of Lower Ground 2 open at 11am.]
Note: All requests for collection items must be made at least one hour before closing.

Mitchell Library Reading Room:

  • Monday to Thursday 9am-8pm
  • Friday 9am-5pm
  • Weekends 10am-5pm.

Special Collections area:

  • Monday to Thursday 9am-8pm
  • Friday 9am-5pm
  • Saturday 11am-5pm
  • Sunday - CLOSED.

Note: All requests for collection items must be made at least one hour before closing.

Check the website for occasional date and time variations:

Access conditions and requirements

You will need a Special Collections card to use archival material. You can apply for your free card online before your visit and then collect it from the Special Collections Desk when you come in to the Library. You will need to show two forms of identification that have your current address, photo and signature.

You need to follow the Special Collections - Conditions of use when in the Special Collections area ( These guidelines help us to protect and preserve the Library’s special collections for future generations.

You are not able to bring any bags into the Special Collections area. This includes handbags, camera bags and laptop bags. Lockers are available for hire in the Mitchell Library.

Other items that you're not able to bring in, include:

  • food and drink including bottled water
  • scanners including hand-held scanners
  • pens, ink and highlighters.

More information about accessing the Library’s special collections is available at:


All levels in the two buildings of the State Library of New South Wales, the Macquarie Street building and the Mitchell Library, are accessible via lifts. The lifts are wheelchair accessible and some have braille signage and audible signals.

If you require assistance navigating around the library, staff at the Information Desk in the Macquarie Street foyer are happy to help and have a courtesy wheelchair available. More information is available at:

Services area

Research services

If you are in the Library, experienced librarians are available in both reading rooms to assist with your enquiries. Specialised assistance with archival research enquiries is available in the Special Collections area located in the Mitchell Library Building.

Research assistance is also available remotely via the Ask a Librarian service. More information is available at:

Reproduction services

Speak to staff in the Special Collections area before photocopying and photographing material.

Your Special Collections card can be used to print and photocopy material. Find out more about printing and copying:

You can also use your own equipment including a tripod to photograph material. You will need to complete a form before you can use your own equipment. Flash must be turned off when photographing material. Scanners including hand-held and flat-bed scanners are not allowed in the Special Collections area. The Special Collections Conditions of Use provide more information about copying:

The Library also provides fee-based copying and reproduction services. For more information:

Public areas

Information about other areas and facilities in the Library can be found at:

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised 16 April 2018




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (Thematic area)
  • Agriculture (Thematic area)
  • Arts and Culture (Thematic area)
  • Built Environment (Thematic area)
  • Defence (Thematic area)
  • Environment (Thematic area)
  • Family / Domestic Life (Thematic area)
  • Genealogical (Thematic area)
  • Geography (Thematic area)
  • Immigration (Thematic area)
  • Indigenous (Thematic area)
  • Industry, Manufacturing and Commerce (Thematic area)
  • Labour (Thematic area)
  • Language (Thematic area)
  • Law and Justice (Thematic area)
  • Local Studies (Thematic area)
  • Media (Thematic area)
  • Medicine and Health (Thematic area)
  • Natural Resources (Thematic area)
  • Politics and Government (Thematic area)
  • Populations (Thematic area)
  • Recreation / Leisure / Sports (Thematic area)
  • Religion (Thematic area)
  • Science and Technology (Thematic area)
  • Social Organisations and Activities (Thematic area)
  • Transportation (Thematic area)
  • Travel and Exploration (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

Macquarie Street, Sydney
Sydney, New South Wales 2000