Pacific Manuscripts Bureau (Pambu)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are kindly advised that this website includes images, sounds and names of people who have passed.

All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified. Certain words, terms or descriptions may reflect the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written, but are now considered inappropriate in today's context.

Key to library resources

Access anywhere with a library card In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)
Available to access in the library Only in the Library
Publicly available online Publicly available

Getting started

About the collection

The Pacific Manuscripts Bureau (Pambu) collection includes copies of archives, manuscripts and rare printed material of non-government and government sources relating to the Pacific Islands. Pambu is part of the College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University, College of Asia and the Pacific.

The Pambu collections include:

  • Letters and diaries
  • family records and genealogies
  • mission and church records
  • grammars, vocabularies and dictionaries
  • business records such as trading, mining, shipping and plantations
  • papers of political parties, trade unions, environmental organisations, community associations and non-government organisations
  • unpublished novels, stories, plays, poems, songs, music and drawings;
  • oral histories
  • scientific, technical and medical papers
  • newspapers, newsletters and other serials
  • photographs

Accessing the collection

You can search the Pambu catalogue online, and access to the full collection is available by visiting member libraries like the State Library of NSW.

Member libraries provide access to:

  • digitised documents and photographs
  • vast microfilm collections (forms the majority of the Pambu material - these are not digitised)
  • a complete set of printed guides

For a guide on how to search the catalogue, have a look at Finding Items in the Collection.


The Pacific Manuscripts Bureau Copyright Policy includes contact information for copyright enquiries.