The ACT Heritage Library is the 'state' library of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and the pre-eminent ACT reference library. The Library is the heritage section of the ACT Library and Information Services and is located on Level 1, Woden Library, Corner Corinna Street and Furzer Street, Phillip ACT. Antoinette Buchanan has been the Manager of the ACT Heritage Library since 2004.
The ACT Heritage Library collects, manages and provides access to material relevant to the ACT's documentary heritage. It offers assistance in researching matters relating to the ACT, its history and its development.
The collection of books and journals in the ACT Heritage Library focuses on the works published in the ACT, by ACT residents, or about the ACT. Special collections include the collection and a small zine collection.
The ACT Heritage Library has a strong collection of local and regional newspapers in microfilm and print, including newspapers from culturally and linguistically diverse communities and a complete run of Canberra Times from the 1920s.
The ACT Heritage Library holds 4,000 maps and plans of Canberra and the ACT and plans of some public and private buildings. A full listing of the maps and plans collection is located on the ACT Heritage Library website.
The collection of approximately 200 archives and manuscripts collections in the ACT Heritage Library focuses on local groups and individuals who have made notable contributions to the ACT community. Strengths include early childhood education and performing arts. An index of archives held and links to finding aids is accessible from the ACT Heritage Library website.
The ACT Heritage Library has an extensive ephemera collection of around 300 archive boxes and 2,000 posters, with a particular strength in the performing arts. Finding aids for the Library's general ephemera, posters and performing arts ephemera collections are available from the Library's website.
The ACT Heritage Library has three significant collections of images:Photographs from the Canberra Times and the Canberra Chronicle from the 1970s to the 1990s;
Photographs from the Commonwealth Department of Capital Territory from the 1950s through to the early 1980s; and
The David Coward Photography Collection, a collection of over 300,000 negatives, the work of commercial photographer, David Coward who operated in Canberra, 1958-2003.
Material from the collections is being digitised and catalogued in the on-line database, Images ACT, which currently includes over 8,000 digitised photographs of the ACT and region from the ACT heritage Library. Additional ACT photographs held in national and state institutions, as well those from Images ACT, can be found on Picture Australia.
The ACT Heritage Library regularly presents small exhibitions and display in their reading room, with additional exhibitions held in the Civic Library building.
Some of the treasures of the ACT Heritage Library featured in the touring exhibition National Treasures from Australia’s Great Libraries, which toured to every capital city from 3 December 2005 to late 2007.
Reflections of Canberra is an online exhibition, sampling the collection of the ACT Heritage Library and reflecting the changing landscape lifestyles of the Canberra region and its community.
The National Library of Australia and the ACT Heritage Library work cooperatively to ensure the preservation of newspaper titles published in the Australian Capital Territory under the Australian Newspaper Plan.
The ACT Heritage Library contributes its digitised images from Images ACT, to Picture Australia, an online aggregator service, managed by the National Library of Australia, which allows you to search many significant online pictorial collections at the same time.