Architecture Rare Materials Collection, Architecture and Planning Library, University of Melbourne

The rare materials collection in the Architecture and Planning Library at the University of Melbourne includes 19th and 20th century material: seminal architectural texts; collections of major local architects and planners; original drawings, sketchbooks and scrapbooks; objects from the University's architectural atelier; and theses.

Generally, most of the items have been published before 1980.

Pre-19th century material is housed with the Special Collections at the Baillieu Library. See


The collection has been built up from various sources:

University of Melbourne, acquisitions going back to the 19th century;

Royal Victorian Institute of Architects Library: this large and important collection was transferred to the University in 1969;

Bequests: Significant materials have been bequeathed to the University over a long period, particularly from the estates of deceased architects;

Special purchases: Funds raised by the Friends of the Baillieu Library and research funds have been utilised to purchase rare materials and this process continues.

The Collection is composed of rare, valuable or fragile materials together with items that cannot be shelved in the main library owing to conservation or space issues. This material is held in closed-access storage.

Items must be requested in advance using forms available at the information or loans desks. Two collections are made each weekday, at 11.00am and 3.00pm.

Material is not available for use outside the library and some materials may be subject to copying restrictions owing to their physical condition or copyright considerations.

Some material is catalogued: see

Other material is yet to be catalogued.