Rare Books and Special Collections

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All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified.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

Copying, publishing and purchasing copies


You can copy material from the Library's Rare Books collections using the photocopier in the Special Collections area or with your own equipment including cameras and mobiles.

Speak to staff before you photocopy and photograph material. Staff will need to check that the material isn't in copyright, restricted or too fragile. You may need to also complete a form before you copy material with your own equipment.

Fragile and large Library material

We can copy Library material that’s too large or fragile for the photocopier in Special Collections area for you. Ask staff at the desk.

We're happy to copy up to 10 pages while you wait.

If you need more than 10 pages, you will need to place an order. Your order will be ready to collect within four working days.

Speak to staff if you would prefer to have it emailed to you.

Can't make it to the Library?

You can also order copies of material from the Library's collections, such as a an article or chapter from a rare book. We can provide a PDF copy via email or post a photocopy to you.

Permissions and publishing

Complete the permission to reproduce form to request permission to publish material from the Library's collections.

You do not need to request permission to use items that are out of copyright.


You can copy material or order copies of Library material provided you meet the requirements of the Australian Copyright Act 1968. This includes any special requirements that apply to material that is original, unpublished or culturally sensitive.

Information on copyright provided by the Library does not constitute legal advice. If in doubt, seek legal advice before copying a work.

Digitised image of a drawing of a bear and other animals

The Book of the bear: being twenty-one tales

 The Book of the Bear : Being Twenty-One Tales / Newly Translated from the Russian by Jane Harrison and Hope Mirrlees ; the Pictures by Ray Garnett ; with a Pref. and Epilogue. Nonesuch Press, 1926.

State Library of NSW: MacPherson/ 0030

Ordering digital images and archival prints

You can order digital copies of images and archival prints from the Library’s collections. Find out about how you can order and the prices.

The Poems of John Keats

The poems of John Keats

The Poems of John Keats. Kelmscott Press, 1894.

State Library of NSW: MacPherson/ 0237

Ask a Librarian

Need help with your research? Have a question that you can’t find the answer to? Contact us at Ask a Librarian.

We can recommend methods and resources to help with your research, find the right resources in the Library's collections and guide you with accessing eresources.

We will get back to you within seven working days.