State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

Identity area



Authorized form of name

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name


  • State

Contact area


Manuscripts Librarian



Street address

328 Swanston Street, Melbourne





Country name

Postal code



03 8664 7009



Description area


Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

Officer in charge: Manuscripts Librarian

Records management and collecting policies

The acquisition of original records which document all aspects of the history and development of Victoria and its inhabitants, from the earliest times until the present day.



The Library's manuscripts collection has a particular emphasis on Victoria and its inhabitants, and seeks to gather papers and records that reflect the full range of human diversity and undertakings.

With a wide collecting brief, the manuscripts collection is particularly strong in a number of areas:

  • records of the discovery, exploration and settlement of Victoria by Europeans, including the Port Phillip papers relating to the first contact between Europeans and Aboriginal people
  • the diaries and letters of immigrants to Victoria, especially shipboard diaries
  • life on the Victorian goldfields
  • company records, including the very extensive Coles Myer retail collection
  • records of the labour movement and the papers of notable political figures in Victoria
  • manuscript papers from individuals and organisations active in the fields of literature, the fine arts and the theatre
  • collections relating to Aboriginal people in Victoria
  • diaries, letters and photographs from World War I and World War II

Finding aids, guides and publications

A video is available with helpful tips on locating or requesting collection items (see

Access area

Opening times

Material from the Australian Manuscripts collection is viewed in the Heritage Collections Reading Room or, for certain manuscript collections, in the Australian Manuscripts room.
Heritage Collections Reading Room: open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday to Sunday 10am-6pm, Wednesday 10am-9pm.
For other reading rooms and public holiday opening, see

Access conditions and requirements

The use of the Australian Manuscripts collection is subject to the State Library’s manuscripts access policy and can be searched via the Library's catalogue. The Library's Rare Books collection is held in storage and can be viewed by contacting Library staff to arrange an appointment in the Heritage Collections Reading Room.


Services area

Research services

General reference assistance available.

Reproduction services

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Clipboard

Primary contact

328 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Melbourne, Victoria 3000