The work of Australian artists has always been a primary focus of the Library's visual arts collection. Books, magazines, catalogues, databases, manuscripts and a range of other resources are all available for those with an interest in Australia's art history.
Central to this is the Australian Art and Artists collection, often referred to as AAA. This is a collection of over 30,000 files containing exhibition material related to Australian art, artists, awards and galleries. Art exhibition catalogues, invitations to exhibitions, press clippings and other ephemeral material from the 19th century onwards are held in this collection.
One of the strengths of this collection is the information it contains about Victorian art organisations such as the Victorian Artists’ Society and the Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors. Very often the brochures and cuttings found in these files are the only remaining evidence of the work of a particular artist or society.