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Jeu joyeux au kangourou [B 2776931]

Special Collections

The majority of items in these collections were either purchased by the State Library and its supporters over many years or donated by countless generous members of the South Australian public.

What's inside

Notable collections

The State Library holds a vast array of named collections such as:

The Adelaide Circulating Library Collection, a large collection of books which were once part of some of the former Institute libraries, are viewable in the Mortlock Chamber and the Circulating Library in the Institute Building.

The Arbon Le-Maistre Collection, a large collection of photographs containing mostly 2oth century ships which carried post World War two migrants to Australia.

The Purches Collection, featuring more than 6000 78RPM recordings of mainly American popular music and jazz from the 1920s to the 1950s.

The Hardy Collection, in 1968 the Chairman of Thomas Hardy and Sons presented to the library the first annual grant for the Thomas Hardy Wine Library.

The Griffin Press Collection, from 1960 to 1990 the Griffin Press, a leading Australian printing firm, presented one copy of most of the books it printed to the State Library.

The Cellarmaster Collection of Rare Wine Books, created by a director of Cellarmaster Wines, this collection is an example of a donation made because of our recognised excellence in this subject. A collection of 900 wine books with strengths in books published before 1800, and in books in languages other than English.

The Queen Adelaide Collection, the volumes in this collection once belonged to Queen Adelaide from 1792 to 1849. This collection was given to Augustus Short, Adelaide's first Anglican bishop, in 1878, who in turn presented the books to the South Australian Institute, a forerunner of the State Library of South Australia.

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.