The Reading Room is reserved for the use of researchers accessing material from Special Collections, the University of Melbourne Archives, and Grainger Museum Collection.
Anyone is welcome to request and access material in the Reading Room, including staff and students from the University of Melbourne and other institutions, professional historians or researchers, and members of the public.
Each collection has its own catalogue and way of identifying material that you can request to view.
Please note, links on this page will open in a new tab in your browser.
- Special Collections (Rare Books, Rare Music, Prints)
Special Collections comprises the Rare Books collection, Rare Music collection and Print collection. Browse the Special Collections website to find out more about these collections.
The Rare Books collection includes significant Australian and international collections of books, journals and ephemera. It also holds works generated by the University of Melbourne and its students, including the Masters and PhD Thesis Collection and the University of Melbourne Press Collection.
Rare Books material is identified with a location code containing "SpC", for example, SpC/T, SpC/Ax and SpC/UM.
Rare Books material can be searched online through the University Library Catalogue.
The A-Z listing of Rare Books contains additional information on specific collections, including uncatalogued material.
Rare Music comprises music manuscripts, printed scores, books, archival collections and other music-related materials that are rare and in some cases unique. The collection includes items from the late 13th century through to the present day.
Rare Music material will contain the location code Music RB, Music REF, Music RBEF, or Store Music RB.
Over 10,000 rare music items can be located by searching the Library Catalogue.
Information on some collections, while not catalogued, is available through detailed finding aids.
The Print Collection is one of Australia's most significant university art collections, comprising more than 8,000 prints, predominantly by the old masters dating from the fifteenth to the twentieth century.
A comprehensive database of Print Collection material, including digitised items, is available online.
- University of Melbourne Archives
The University of Melbourne Archives holds nearly 20km of records, including material relating to the University and its governance and administration. It also holds collections of Victorian businesses, trade unions and other labour history material, and records of professional, community, women's, peace and political organisation. This varied archival collection is one of the largest non-governmental collections in Australia and provides a rich source for research in Victorian and Australian history.
The University of Melbourne archives has an online catalogue, which contains summary information about all of its collections. In addition, the University of Melbourne Archives Library holds books and resources. These can be searched via the University Library Catalogue and are identified with the location code "UniM Archives".
Finding aids for many of the collections are also available and provide more detailed box of file lists that usually contain box or unit numbers. The Archives website Resource page contains comprehensive information on searching collection finding aids, subject guides and digital collections.
- Grainger Museum
The Grainger Museum is the only purpose-built autobiographical museum in Australia. Its collection was amassed by world-renowned composer and pianist Percy Grainger (1882 - 1961). This eclectic collection encompasses art works, costumes, ethnographic artefacts, musical instruments, musical scores, photographs books, manuscripts and Grainger's personal archives.
Most of the Grainger Museum collection can be searched in the dedicated Grainger Museum catalogue.