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Adrian Feint 'The Home Journal July 1st 1929' Collection of the National Gallery of Australia Courtesy the Estate of Adrian Feint

Adrian Feint 'The Home Journal July 1st 1929' Collection of the National Gallery of Australia Courtesy the Estate of Adrian Feint
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One of the principal responsibilities of the Library is to collect, maintain and preserve the history of visual arts. The Library houses the most comprehensive collection of visual arts literature in Australia and documents the history and development of our nation's art and culture.

As well as a general coverage of art history, the Research Library's collections have particular strengths which match those of the Gallery's art collection.

A Reference Service is available to the public online, and via email, phone, fax or post. Our holdings are listed on the Libraries Australia national database or you can go direct to our catalogue.

External access & reader's tickets

Our access policies and range of services are designed to give everyone some form of access to all our information without making it impossible for us to provide the level of service required by the Gallery staff and those using the Research Library for advanced professional research.

For reasons of security, space and resources, external access is by reader's ticket, which is not unusual in a research library of this type. Applications for a reader's ticket are approved for research and professional purposes. In addition, the 'library of last resort' principle applies for specific titles if we hold the only reasonably accessible copy of a work. 'Professional purposes' covers artists, curators, museum staff, researchers, art historians, academics, teachers, journalists, designers etc.

We have written contracts with both the Australian National University and the University of Canberra which give automatic approval to university staff and students preparing Honours, Masters or Ph.D theses. These agreements are used as a model for our response to tertiary institutions throughout Australia.

Recreational or undergraduate/diploma requests (except for thesis work) for a reader's ticket cannot as a rule be accommodated.

The Access policy of the National Gallery of Australia Research Library has been developed to enable us to give appropriate service on a national basis. We have tried to avoid undue bias towards Canberra and have put restrictions on personal access to allow us to give the best possible service to those for whom the public, university, national or state  libraries cannot provide what is needed.

Applying for reader's tickets

Applications for a reader's ticket are approved for research and professional purposes. The following categories receive automatic approval:

Please check the external access policy or call the reference service for further information.

Anyone may make an appointment to use particular items not reasonably available elsewhere under the 'Library of last resort' principle.

Rare books and archival collections

Inter-Library Loans

Inter-Library Loans are available through other libraries.
Libraries should contact Inter-Library Loans on:

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