Materials in this collection date from before formal 1836 colonisation of the state, to the present day, including the Northern Territory before 1911. Many items have been donated by members of the South Australian community.
A bibliography of South Australia and Federation highlighting the development of our nation and South Australia's role in it.
The Bradman Collection is an extensive archival collection of items that Sir Donald Bradman donated to the State Library for safekeeping. Digital versions of the collection can be viewed online via a dedicated website, a Flickr album.
A research guide that provides a chronological bibliography of Catherine Helen Spence, a professional journalist, political candidate and a social and political reformer.
Showcasing selected items with a focus on South Australiana.
A timeline of South Australia's colonial history, from establishment, to settlement, through to Australian federation membership.
Celebrates Matthew Flinders' and Nicolas Baudin's expeditions searching the southern coast of Australia.
The State Library's collections include home movies dating back to the 1930s, silent films, documentary material, and feature films and television productions made in South Australia and by South Australians who have made careers throughout the world.
The State Library has a significant and developing amount of specialist material relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people including the Mountford-Sheard Collection.
Historian Geoff Manning’s subject index to South Australian newspapers 1837 to 1937 can sometimes find that elusive item which Trove has missed.
Get started on finding maps related to the history of South Australia.
The sea and waterways were vital to South Australia’s settlement and development. Explore immigration, trade, ports, riverboat history, shipbuilding, shipwrecks and rescues.
Providing access to a range of data sets which can be freely used and subject only to the requirement to attribute and share alike.
Dip into our huge collection of South Australian photographs of people, places and events, as well as artworks, post cards and posters.
Our Downstream website explores people, issues, places and events along the River Murray. Challenges and reactions to the river’s survival are also explored.
From Federation to the 21st Century, these are the events that shaped South Australia, 1901 to 2001.
An online exhibition of South Australian history drawing on the Library’s incredible and unique archival and other heritage collections.
A list of catalogue references to South Australian sheet music within the library's collection.
View and pin images from across our collections.
In the 100 year celebration of their prize-winning flight, we celebrate pioneer aviators Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith and their significant achievement which paved the way for postal and commercial flights to Australia.
Within the collections of the State Library are thousands of stories of the sacrifices and contributions South Australians have made to international conflicts.
The Bureau undertook research into over 8,000 enquiries from family and friends of missing Australian WW1 soldiers.
Showcasing the unique treasures of the State Library's collection.
The State Library has a Transcription Program which selects interesting or significant handwritten letters and diaries in our Archival Collection that are transcribed by a team of volunteers into electronic documents, which can be read as word-searchable PDFs.
Download for free six tours that explore and connect our historical collections to the bustling city streets of Adelaide.
The State Library is involved with the PANDORA archive initiative by selecting and archiving online publications such as websites so that they can be preserved in a form that resembles the original as closely as possible.
Strenuous work: the campaign for Women's Suffrage in South Australia is a series of three podcasts that looks at the campaign for women's suffrage in South Australia and subsequent involvement of women in Australian political life.
The curated website celebrates the role of women in the social and political development of South Australia.
Published material includes formats such as:
Large or fragile items, such as newspapers and indexes are copied onto microfilm or microfiche to protect and preserve them while making them available for public use.Search the catalogue
Archival items are unpublished papers and records of individuals, businesses, and community organisations which are considered worthy of preservation for the future. The State Library collects archival material which is predominantly South Australian in content, or is by or about South Australians and has research value such as:
The State Library's archival collections began in 1920, when a South Australian Archives was established: the first State archives in Australia. The collection contains material dating back to the early colonial period of the 1830s, in some cases predating white settlement in South Australia.
The archival collection includes over 75,000 digitised images which are viewable on the State Library Catalogue.
Please note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that the collections may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.
Some material may contain terms that reflect authors’ views, or those of the period in which the item was written or recorded, but may not be considered appropriate today. These views are not necessarily the views of the State Library. While the information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in an historical context.View the guide
For all your research or reference queries our librarians are here to help you!
View our policies, procedures, conditions of use and frequently asked questions about using and accessing our collections.
Did you know that State Library membership is free? Being a State Library members provides you with greater access to the collection. Check out the benefits and sign up for a card today.
How do I get to the State Library by public transport?
The 'State Library, Art Gallery, Museum' tram-stop is just outside the State Library. There are bus stops close by near the War Memorial on North Terrace. The closest train station is the Adelaide city station on North Terrace.
You can plan your journey via Adelaide Metro.
Is there car parking near the State Library?
The nearest car park is Wilson's Adelaide Central car park, 225 North Terrace, next to David Jones.
There is paid metered street parking along Kintore Ave and Victoria Drive.
Where is the wheelchair and stroller access?
Access to the Spence Wing first floor and the Mortlock Chamber is via the lift in the glass foyer entrance of the library.
There is on-street disabled parking available in the nearby roads. View more information and maps of Adelaide City Council's Disability parking for permit holders.
How do I check if the Mortlock Chamber is open when I plan to visit?
You can visit the Mortlock Chamber on the ground floor to look at the exhibition bays. The upper levels of the Mortlock Wing include quiet study areas.
Is there a cafe at the State Library?
Yes, the State Library Cafe by St Raphaels located on the ground floor in the glass foyer.