University of Tasmania Library, Special and Rare Materials Collection (UTAS)

The Special and Rare Materials Collection is the official keeping place for historic archives deposited by various institutions, bodies or families of some other institutions, whose records are of sufficient historical interest to warrant careful preservation and maintenance. It is also the repository for some of the University's older records of a non-official nature.

The Special and Rare Materials collections service is now limited to maintenance of and access provision to, existing collections. The collections no longer accept new material from outside organisations or individuals unless they supplement existing holdings, or form a valuable and related addition to the collections.

The Special/Rare Collection staff are able to undertake limited searches for material for outside users, and access to files and material is available to personal visitors. A staff member is available for visitors during documented opening hours (see above) and other staff will provide urgent access outside this time.

Please contact the Collection Management/Special Collections Librarian (Andrew Parsons, phone (03) 6226 2231) or the Special Collections Assistant (Luana Nandan, phone (03) 6226 2222) with any queries about access and availability of resources (some of which may have restrictions and conditions) Material is not for loan and can be consulted between 9:30 - 1:00 pm

Tuesday to Thursday and between 11.00 and 1.00 on Friday. At other times access can be arranged via the Client Services desk, Level 2, Morris Miller Library


Indexes to archival material provide an access point to subjects and names of the various collections. Go to

Rare Books

Also housed in the Special/Rare materials area are the Library's main rare book collections and there are small collections of rare materials in the Art, Music, Law and Launceston libraries. Significant components of the rare collections are the Quaker, Royal Society, Christ College rare collections.

Online collections.

Some items from the UTAS Special and Rare collections are available online. There is a continuing project to scan selected letters, diaries, documents, photographs, lantern slides and other materials from the collections into ePrints.

See: Online items from the UTAS Special and Rare collections.

See also Online exhibitions - online versions of some UTAS Library exhibitions which have been held in the Morris Miller Library.

Note: Material in the Rare Book Room is often fragile and permission must be obtained to to photocopy any item. Rare material may only be consulted under supervision.


The current collections embrace private sector or personal archives and manuscripts and photographs - all of which relate to the social, economic, literary, religious and scientific history of Tasmania. [eg. Arthur Inglis Clark family papers, George Washington Walker family papers and the Olive Pink collection of botanical sketches].

Other major collections held include those of the Tasmanian Baptist Church, the Society of Friends, the Friends' School, Quaker deposits and the Royal Society Archives - a fascinating vista of colonial science and technology.