What we collect

Library & Archives NT holds some of the world’s most significant collections relating to the history, development and culture of Australia’s Northern Territory.

Library & Archives NT collects, preserves and provides access to historic and contemporary materials relating to the Northern Territory. This mission is supported by Legal Deposit, and the Information Act part 9, which enables us to comprehensively collect items in the Northern Territory.

It now holds over 300,000 images, books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, ephemera and audiovisual materials, making it one of the most significant collections of its kind in the world.

Goyder stereoscopic apparatus

Library & Archives NT is particularly focused on collecting items that are:

  • about, related or significant to the Northern Territory
  • written by Northern Territorians
  • published or produced in the Northern Territory
Types of collections
Audiovisual materials

Featuring recordings of local bands, rare historic footage, films, documentaries and radio programs, the Library’s audio-visual collection is a feast for the eyes and ears. More than 4000 items are available for access during opening hours.


From posters to election pamphlets, menus to event programs, invitations to junk mail, this collection offers a unique insight into the communicative trends underpinning Northern Territory social and cultural life.

ImagesThe collection comprises more than 100,000 [AB1] historic photographs, postcards, illustrations and albums relating to life in the Northern Territory from the 1800s onwards.
ManuscriptsThe manuscript collection includes personal papers, letters, diaries and notebooks providing an intimate record of life in northern Australia.
MapsView history from above: explore more than 3000 rare maps documenting the Northern Territory’s cultural history, exploration, borders, settlements, industry and geology.
NT Government archives

NT Government archives that have been created since the government's establishment in 1978; or have been inherited from agencies whose function has become the responsibility of the NT Government since self-government.

Oral history archives

Recordings of interviews with a diverse range of people about Territory life and history. Interviews have been recorded since the 1970s and feature recollections of the Territory dating back to the late 19th century.

Published materialsOur book, periodical, report and newspaper collection features over 80,000 historic and modern, regional and national publications, available in the library, online and via microfilm.
TreasuresTo celebrate our 30th birthday, Northern Territory Library exhibited 30 internationally significant treasures from our special collections. Explore them online here.