Supporting Research

How does Special Collections support your research?

Special Collections is a rich resource of hundreds of unique contemporary manuscripts and uniquely held rare books which are available for your next research project. Our archival collections also include photographs, film and audio recordings, posters, maps, plans, stage and set designs, objects and more.

Special Collections is a separate research unit of UNSW Canberra, led by the Associate Dean Special Collections (Professor Nicole Moore).  The unit works collaboratively with the Academy Library, Canberra and the UNSW Sydney Library in delivering services to researchers but is not administratively part of either library.

Research Guides

Special Collections Research Guides provide excellent starting points for familiarising yourself with our holdings and for identifying potential research areas.  For example when refining a PhD question/topic.

Browse our library of Research Guides to inspire and inform your next research area, teaching program or assignment.

Browse Research Guides

Where will your Special Collections research take you?

We can help you access a stimulating array of original source materials, provide ideas for teaching and learning, supply digital images, and guide you on copyright and reuse.

Your research may be towards a thesis, publication, class, collaboration, audiovisual project, live performance, poetry reading, artwork or personal interest—the possibilities are endless and limited only by the imagination.

Recent Research Outcomes

Lorraine Tinsley, "The Uncrowned King and the Desert Queen: T.E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell - A Friendship". Conference paper at symposium of the T.E. Lawrence Society, Oxford, September 2018.

Lorraine Tinsley, "The Uncrowned King and the Desert Queen: T.E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell - A Friendship". The Journal of the T. E. Lawrence Society, forthcoming.

Wouter Van Acker, “Peter Corrigan, the Bodgie Wolf and Other Larrikin Tigers of Wrath,” Fabrications: The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand, 28.1 (2018): 3-24.

Richard Tipping, “Adventures in Public Art”, Lecture, National Gallery of Australia, 25 October 2018.

Ian Beckett, “ ‘A British Profession of Arms: The Politics of Command in the Late Victorian Army’ (published by Oklahoma University Press 2018), has been shortlisted for the Templer Medal of the Society for Army Historical Research, awarded annually by the Society for Army Historical Research to the best book on British military history published in the previous year.

Patricia Burgess: Wyatt Earp

  • Museum of Sydney (“Bohemian Harbour: Artists of Lavender Bay” including Brett Whitely and Tom Carment) Sept - November 2018.
  • ACT Library (on writer and UNSW Canberra academic Dorothy Green), June 2018.
  • National Gallery of Victoria (on artist Dale Hickey), preparing for possible exhibition.
  • Contour 566 in Canberra (public open-air art event) (Richard Tipping installation), October 2018.
  • UNSW Canberra Academy Library display on Miles Franklin literary prize winners. Sept 2018.

The Special Collections team have assisted a Victorian community project honouring Minjungbul/ Goernpil/ Noonuccal/ South Sea Islander woman Lisa Bellear. Bellear was a poet, artist and activist. We are helping the project gather resources relating to Bellear’s work to celebrate her legacy within the local community and enable a street or building to be named after her.

Researchers from the Australian Dictionary of Biography are also compiling a tranche of new biographies, particularly on women.