Due to the Australian Museum's temporary closure, from Monday 2nd September 2019 the Archives and Library will be closed to all external enquiries, including image requests.

The Research Library holds one of the finest natural history book and journal collections in Australia. Established in 1836, the Library specialises in material relating to zoology, taxonomy, cultural collections, earth sciences and museology.

Due to the Australian Museum's temporary closure, the Archives and Library will be closed to all external enquiries, including image requests until mid-2020.

Access to the Research Library is by appointment only. Please phone or email to make an appointment and let us know the nature of your request.

If you need to make copies of material for research and reference, we have a photocopier and scanner available or you can bring your own digital camera.

We have free wireless internet access available in the Museum if you plan to use your laptop.


Email: library@austmus.gov.au

Telephone: +61 (0)2 9320 6152

You can use the online Catalogue:

  • to browse and search for information resources available in the library
  • to find links to relevant websites, databases, electronic journals, and online documents

The Research Library's online catalogue does not contain all material held by the library. Please contact the Library if you require assistance.

Twelve major natural history museum libraries, botanical libraries, and research institutions have joined to form the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) Australia is the digital literature component of the Atlas of Living Australia. BHL Australia also participates in the consortium of Biodiversity Heritage Libraries and affiliated literature digitisation projects around the world. This is an ambitious project to build a biodiversity information platform to provide scientists and others with access to information from a wide range of biodiversity data and datasets as well as tools for manipulating, analysing and contributing to that data.

Collection highlights

We hold a significant collection of rare books numbering over 5000 volumes.

Contact the Research Library