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National Library of Australia

Explore the collections of Australia’s biggest reference library to find books from all over the world, early European maps and documents from the first explorers. 

The National Library of Australia is the most comprehensive reference library in the country. It was formed as the National Parliamentary Library in 1901 and became the National Library in 1960. Its collection includes Asian literary works and documents, rare books and manuscripts, photographs, maps, paintings, music and video.  Browse the archives, choose something interesting and settle down in a reading room. There are over 10 million items in the library catalogue, so you’re sure to find something to your taste. The periodicals section has copies of the first newspaper printed in Australia as well as an enormous range of overseas publications. Explore the manuscripts archive to see gems like Captain Cook’s journal and original documents written by the country’s first prime minister. 

Brush up on your Aboriginal history in the Indigenous section or dig up old folk tales in the Oral History and Folk Law collections. The Asian history and culture section has a huge range of material from Japan, China and other countries in the region. You’ll find Buddhist scriptures from the 12th century as well as artworks and accounts from missionaries. 

Move on to the maps rooms to see the first Dutch charts of the Australian coast, military plans, old atlases, and street directories. Pore over the image archives to see historical photographs and paintings. Dancers and lovers of the performing arts should look over the selection of materials from touring Australian dance and theatre companies. 

The National Library of Australia also runs guided tours and holds special exhibitions throughout the year. The library is about one mile (1.6 kilometers) from Parliament House and there are several pay parking lots. ACTION buses from Canberra’s central business district stop here as well as other major attractions. 

The library is open every day except Good Friday and Christmas Day. Admission is free, and there’s an on-site café, bookshop, and several reading rooms (check the library’s website for opening hours of individual rooms).


Guide to Exploring National Library of Australia


Top Hotel Deals

See all 288 Properties near National Library of Australia
Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt £141
Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt

Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt

Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla, ACT
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Capital Hill, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Albert Hall, National Gallery of Australia and Parliament House. Commonwealth Park and National Convention Centre are also within 2 miles (3 km).

    Crowne Plaza Canberra £78
    Crowne Plaza Canberra

    Crowne Plaza Canberra

    1 Binara Street, Canberra, ACT
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Canberra City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Glebe Park and National Convention Centre. Canberra Centre and Commonwealth Park are also within 15 minutes.

      Little National Hotel Canberra £74
      Little National Hotel Canberra

      Little National Hotel Canberra

      21 National Circuit, Barton, ACT
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Capital Hill, this spa hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of National Archives of Australia, National Gallery of Australia and Parliament House. Commonwealth Park and National Convention Centre are also within 3 miles (5 km). Kingston Canberra Station is 26 minutes by foot.

        Burbury Hotel & Apartments £87
        Burbury Hotel & Apartments

        Burbury Hotel & Apartments

        1 Burbury Close, Canberra, Barton, ACT
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Capital Hill, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Manuka Oval, Parliament House and National Gallery of Australia. Commonwealth Park and National Convention Centre are also within 3 miles (5 km). Kingston Canberra Station is 26 minutes by foot.

          Novotel Canberra £76
          Novotel Canberra

          Novotel Canberra

          65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT
             
            4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Canberra City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Canberra Centre, Australian National University and National Convention Centre. Lake Burley Griffin and Commonwealth Park are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            Hotel Kurrajong Canberra £79
            Hotel Kurrajong Canberra

            Hotel Kurrajong Canberra

            8 National Circuit, Barton, ACT
               
              4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Capital Hill, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of National Archives of Australia, National Gallery of Australia and Parliament House. Commonwealth Park and National Convention Centre are also within 3 miles (5 km). Kingston Canberra Station is 29 minutes by foot.

              Deco Hotel £74
              Deco Hotel

              Deco Hotel

              214 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon, ACT
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Braddon, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra Centre and Australian National University. National Convention Centre and Australian War Memorial are also within 2 miles (3 km).

                Avenue Hotel Canberra £92
                Avenue Hotel Canberra

                Avenue Hotel Canberra

                80 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon, ACT
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Canberra City Centre, this luxury hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Canberra Museum and Gallery, Australian War Memorial and Australian National Botanic Gardens. National Museum of Australia and Questacon (National Science and Technology Centre) are also within 3 mi (5 km).