Melbourne Art Library is a free lending library. All are welcome.
Our Collection
We hold over 2300 items, with an emphasis on art and design practice and theory in Australia, Asia, and the Pacific. Our focus is on local texts, and those not held by other public collecting bodies.
Books, art journals, zines, pamphlets, artist books, exhibition material and more, can be browsed, read, and borrowed from the MAL reading room or through our .
Donate Collection Items
Our collection is currently built entirely through donations.
Donations of materials brings to light texts that otherwise may have missed our radar. Broadly, we collect texts encompassing art in all media, theory and criticism, with a focus on Australian, South-East Asian, and Pacific contexts. The collection also includes ephemera and documentation of artistic practice (exhibition posters, catalogue essays, other published materials) related to Australian artists and visual art organisations, and theoretical and critical texts published for the international arts community.
Donations of collection items are acknowledged on custom-designed bookplate in each collection item.
Please get in contact if you would like to discuss donation or ongoing depository arrangements.Please read our prior to getting in contact. Donated material is assessed for acquisition in line with our .
It is free to become a borrowing member of the Melbourne Art Library. or in the library during opening hours.
Melbourne Art Ephemera Archive
The Melbourne Art Ephemera Archive is a local history project collecting exhibition literature and documents from artist-run galleries and projects in Melbourne. Material in the collection includes exhibition catalouges, roomsheets, critical essays and promotional posters, as well as video and audio documentation. The collection aims to reflect a distinct interest in critical approaches to making, exhibiting and interpreting art in Melbourne. The Archive's collection will be accessible to anyone, and we encourage contributions in all forms from galleries, off-site projects, individual artists and critics. All digital deposits will be uploaded to our online repository, made available to the public via the Melbourne Art Library website.
The Archive is currently seeking ephemeral material from galleries past, present, and future. Deposit digital material to the Archive’s online repository
To submit physical material, please get in touch at .
Bookplate Commissions
Each year, MAL commissions a different Victoria-based artist to design a bookplate for the collection. The bookplates also acknowledge the donors of individual collection items.