Skip to main content
Nouvelle Hollande - wombats

South Australia

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. 

What's inside

Published material

Published material includes formats such as:

  • books
  • pamphlets
  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • maps
  • ephemera, such as: menus and theatre programmes
  • audiovisual material
  • a copy of every item published in South Australia (read about Legal Deposit).

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 material

Archival items are unpublished papers and records of individuals, businesses, and community organisations which are considered worthy of preservation for the future.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:

  • letters
  • diaries
  • minutes
  • photographs
  • oral histories.

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

Need help?

Ask Us, Roland Eime, librarian in charge of Youth Lending, assisting a customer [B 72589/3]

Ask Us

For all your research or reference queries our librarians are here to help you!

Using our collection materials, view of customers in the reading area.

Using our collection material

View our policies, procedures, conditions of use and frequently asked questions about using and accessing our collections. 

Youth Lending Service, circa 1970 [B 68890]

Join the State Library

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.

Plan your visit

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 on 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?

The Mortlock Chamber may close for private events, check our opening hours for any closure times.

When it is open 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 is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm and Saturdays from 12 to 4pm.

Find out more about the cafe and resident organisations at the State Library.