Library early closure: The Library will close at 5pm on Thursday 23 October to prepare for the annual Keith Murdoch Oration. More information

Facade conservation & repair works: Over the next few weeks there will be intermittent noise in the La Trobe Reading Room while work is carried out on the external walls. More information

Library early closure & facade conservation works
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Rare Printed collections

Rare Printed collections group together several of the Library’s special collections: Australian Rare Books, Children’s Literature Research, MV Anderson Chess, Maps and Rare Books.

Together with the Australian Manuscripts and Pictures Collections, these heritage collections comprise a body of material of international significance.

The collections are regularly drawn upon for exhibitions.

Policies relating to this collection can be downloaded below.

Collection strengths

Rare Printed collections are strong in areas that the Library has traditionally emphasised and continues to prioritise.

Australian Rare Books

The Australian Rare Books collection is one of the most complete collections of early and rare Australian imprints and works relating to Australia.

Children’s Literature Research

The Children's Literature Research collection contains children’s books from the 16th to 21st centuries.


The Maps collection contains cartographic information in a range of formats, including maps, atlases and gazetteers.

MV Anderson Chess

The MV Anderson Chess collection contains books, pamphlets, tournament reports and magazines for chess players and historians.

Rare Books

The Rare Books collection contains international rare books with interesting illustrations, fine bindings, imprints, typography and paper.