The Research Library collection is strong in the following subjects reflecting the Museum’s diverse collection:
History of aircraft; Antiques; Astronomy; Australian history; Ceramics/Pottery; Computer history; Costume/Dress history; Crafts; Design; Electronics; Engineering; Fashion; Glass; Graphics; Industrial Design; Jewellery; Motor Vehicle History; Museology; Musical instruments; Numismatics; Philately; Photography; Railway history; Sciences; Space exploration; Technology; Textiles; Woodworking.
The Research Library contains approximately 30,000 books, exhibition catalogues and audio visual materials including CD-ROMs, videos, and slides. As a result of the Museum’s interest in design we have many beautifully illustrated books and in recent years we have made a particular effort to collect price guides for collectables.
The Reference Collection contains materials which help with specific questions e.g. directories, encyclopaedias etc. As well, indexes in both print and electronic (CD-ROM) format are available to indicate where information on specific subjects can be found. The most popular CD-ROMs are: Art Index, Sydney Morning Herald, Art Bibliographies Modern, Design and Applied Arts Index, Heritage and Environment and Austrom.
The Research Library contains approximately 1,500 journals some back into the last century. Currently we receive over 400 titles. We have a number of early twentieth century scientific, technological and transport journals and especially long runs of the Australian Women’s Weekly and the Woman’s Day. Our collections of Australian, London and New York Vogue magazines, some going back to the early sixties, are heavily used.
The Research Library has a large collection of exhibition catalogues, especially Australian ones. Substantial and local catalogues mostly appear in the Library’s online catalogue, a small number are indexed on the ISYS database.
This is a collection of manufacturer’s trade catalogues and it is indexed on the ISYS database. It is possible to find out fairly simply if we have anything produced either by the manufacturer or on manufactured goods. The collection is physically grouped in boxes by subject, e.g. Agricultural Equipment or Plastics, for easy browsing.
This is a collection of general and department store catalogues, e.g. Army & Navy, Anthony Hordern, W. W. Campbells, David Jones, Lassetters, and Sears & Roebuck, going back to the turn of the last century. These catalogues are often used to identify objects or research furniture, fashion, machinery, domestic technology etc of an era and are indexed on the ISYS database.