History and Collections
The National Library of Australia was established 56 years ago, on March 23, 1961. NLA was formally established by the passage of the 'National Library Act 1960 (Cth)'. Hence, it had been functioning only as a national library.
In 2012–2013, the NLA collection comprised around 6.4 million items and 2.3 million items held in the manuscripts collection. By the size of the collection, NLA required an additional 15,506 meters (50,873 ft) for manuscript material.
NLA's collections include material recordings and important resources of the Australian cultural heritage. NLA actively represents Australian writers, illustrators, and editors, both whether published in Australia or worldwide.
The National Library of Australia includes the collections of all forms, such as books, magazines, maps, pictures, photographs, sheet music, websites, manuscripts, oral history recordings, and ephemera.
The National Library building is houses lots of various collections and reading rooms.
NLA provides free access to the library's services and world-class collections through comfortable and modern reading rooms, from where visitors can request and access collection items, use computers and the internet for free of charge, speak to expert staff, search and access electronic resources, such as journals, ebooks, indexes, databases, etc., browse reference collection, scan, photocopy, and print materials.
The Main Reading Room
The Main Reading Room is available on the ground floor. From this site, the bulk of the NLA's Internet access terminals are situated. Wireless internet access is available here.
The Collection items at this reading room are delivered on weekdays and usually take around 45 minutes to arrive. However, some of the materials that are held at the library's off-site storage facilities can take a longer time to be delivered.
In this area, visitors can have access to the Newspaper and Family History Zone, which offers microfilm and hardcopy newspapers, materials from microform collection, and family history resources.
Special Collections Reading Room
Visitors who need to view materials from the pictures, maps, manuscripts, oral history, ephemera, music, and rare printed collections, should enter the Special Collections Reading Room, located on the 1st floor of the building.
Asian Collections Reading Room
NLA provides access to many Asian Collections, such as Asian language books, electronic resources, and databases, and journals. The reading room is situated on the third floor.
Asian language includes materials in Chinese, Thai, Khmer, Japanese, Korean, Lao, Burmese, Mongolian, Manchu, and Tibetan. Some Asian language electronic resources are accessible from the Main Reading Room.
Petherick Reading Room
NLA's Patherick Reading Room allows access for only those people who are undertaking advanced research and need more access to the collections.
To access this reading room, researchers must register and apply for Petherick Reader status, via the official website of the National Library of Australia.
Computers / Internet
At the National Library of Australia, visitors can use computers with free wireless internet. NLA's computers operate Windows 10 with Microsoft Word 2013, Excel 2013, Publisher 2013, and PowerPoint 2013. There are installed Internet Explorer and Chrome for accessing the internet.
At NLA, visitors can shop at the library's Bookshop store. You can find a variety of books, including Australian fiction, non-fiction, children's literature titles, books produced via NLA Publishing.
Bookplate eating and dining store make the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch, business meetings, or catching-up locations with family and friends.
Bookplate offers dishes from fresh local produce, local wines, barista-poured espresso coffee, and boutique beers.