National State and Territory Libraries

About National State and Territory Libraries

The nation’s nine collecting institutions are the National Library of Australia, the State Libraries of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia, the ACT Heritage Library and the Northern Territory Library. The primary role of these libraries is to collect, preserve and provide access to the documentary history of Australia, including books, manuscripts, documents, images, maps and other materials, in print, digital and other formats. The collective body representing these institutions is National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA).

The state and territory libraries play a leadership role in supporting public libraries within their jurisdiction, and there is a close bond with archives, museums, galleries, university and special libraries, which also hold unique collections.

Figures from NSLA show that during the 2011-2012 financial year:

  • 12 million people visited these library buildings
  • 217 million pages were viewed on collecting institution websites
  • 1,703 terabytes of digital collections were stored
  • $37 million was the total spend on collections
  • $5.2 billion was the asset value of the collections
  • $1.02 billion was the asset value of the buildings/sites.
  • These institutions together employ approximately 1700 staff, including librarians, library technicians, archivists, curators and professionals from other disciplines.

ALIA Futures has more information about collecting institutions.