About Special Collections

The Special Collections unit prioritises activities that best support our role in UNSW research infrastructure.
  1. We provide researchers with access to collections in the Reading Room or through digital delivery on demand, according to UNSW Canberra Special Collections access procedures. This includes active management of the Partnership Agreement with the National Archives of Australia to provide custody of and access to the Commonwealth John Howard Collection.
  2. Our collection curation includes outreach and promotion of items of significance and relevance: displays, workshops, events, digitisation, user liaison, media communications, and facilitating open access.
  3. Our collection management and preservation includes: cataloguing, arrangement and description including finding aids, housing, preservation, stock maintenance, movement, cleaning, review of access and copying, digital preservation, donor management, valuation, insurance, pest management, climate control management, archival supplies and equipment ordering, copyright management, projects for improvement of specific collections and disaster preparedness.
  4. We provide support to the John Howard Library and access to the John Howard Library manuscript collections, including the personal papers of John Howard and cabinet ministers.
  5. We support undergraduate teaching and learning at UNSW: academic liaison, object-based learning, selection of items for classes, integration into online learning platforms.

Supporting Research

Our UNSW Special Collections archival and rare book holdings serve as world-class research infrastructure for UNSW and researchers. The collections are of significant worth and relevance to contemporary and future generations of researchers for whom they are preserved, managed, curated and made accessible. This facilitates the generation of new and significant knowledge in areas of use and interest to the Australian community and to an international research community.