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National Library of Australia

From Academic Kids

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National Library of Australia

The National Library of Australia is located in Canberra, Australia.

The Library was established in 1960 and grew out of the Federal Parliamentary Library, which was established in 1901. In 1960, the National Library was separated from the Parliamentary Library by the National Library Act 1960.

In 1968, a new building was built for it on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.

The Copyright Act 1968 requires that a copy of every book published in Australia be deposited with the National Library of Australia. The Library also provides Cataloguing-in-Publication (CiP) details, ISSNs and ISMNs for Australian publishers.

The large National Library building is home various reading rooms and collections. On the ground floor is the Main Reading Room along with private reading rooms. This is where the bulk of the library's Internet access terminals are located. Services are also delivered on-site from the Petherick (for advanced readers), Newspaper and Microcopy, Map, Asian Collections, Manuscript and Pictures reading rooms.

Because of the large size of the National Libraries collection of books, journals, pictures, maps, manuscripts, sound recordings, microfilm and other media, not all of the collection is stored on-site. Behind the scenes of the National Library is over 40KM of shelves. Some material is housed off-site at the NLA annex in Hume and other warehouse locations.

The Library has digitised 100,000+ items from its collection (the 100,000th being http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-vn3409117) and, where possible, delivers these directly across the Internet.

The Library is a world leader in digital preservation techniques (see http://www.nla.gov.au/padi), and maintains an Internet accessible archive of selected Australian websites, the Pandora Archive.

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National Library of Australia

In addition to the research facilities available, the National Library offers a gift shop that specialises in Australian books and a cafe and Friends Lounge for members. This and exhibition galleries for temporary exhibits.

Interestingly, the National Library is also a popular venue for Canberra's climbing community — the unique use of roughly cut blocks in the outer northern wall presents a challenging bouldering problem.

National Librarians

  • 1901 - Arthur Wadsworth, Interim Commonwealth Parliamentary Librarian
  • 1927 - Kenneth Binns, Commonwealth Parliamentary Librarian
  • 1947 - Harold Leslie White, National Librarian
  • 1970 - Allan Percy Fleming, National Librarian
  • 1974 - George Chandler, Director-General
  • 1980-1985 Harrison Bryan, Director-General
  • 1985-1999 Warren Horton AM, Director-General
  • 1999 - Jan Fullerton AO, Director-General

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