If you have an item or collection of items which you would like to see permanently located in the John Oxley Library collection, there are a few simple steps to follow.
Unsolicited donations which do not meet our selection criteria will be disposed of at State Library’s discretion.
Search our catalogue for the title of your publication. We do not collect duplicate copies of items, unless the editions are significantly different. This step does not apply for original materials.
Check the Content Guidelines for Memory and Content Guidelines for Extraordinary Collections to see examples of what we do and don’t collect.
We are interested in items not already held which are:
Examples of material we do not collect are:
If you think your item or collection fits the selection criteria, please make contact with us using the Donation enquiry form before sending any material. Our collections are curated by expert staff who have the final decision on whether an item is accepted into the library’s permanent collections.
If the library decides to accept your donation, or in some instances at the point of making the offer, we ask that you assist us by listing multiple item(s) on the relevant form.
If your donation involves original content (unpublished records) you may also need to complete a Deed of Gift which outlines conditions of access, use and reproduction rights.
The Queensland Library Foundation seeks donations on behalf of State Library to maintain, enhance and expand Queensland's cultural heritage.
You can support the Foundation's work by making a donation or a bequest, or contributing to the Legacy Partners Program.
State Library is committed to growing its unique Queensland collections for the benefit of current and future generations. We acquire our Queensland collections through purchases, donations, private sales, legal deposit, auctions and bequests.
We appreciate hearing from individuals, businesses and organisations about possible donations to our Queensland collections.
Donations are assessed in relation to:
We collect material which is:
We also collect material related to Australian fine art and other rare items on a case-by-case basis.
If you have an item or collection of items which you would like to see permanently housed in the John Oxley Library, there are a few steps to follow. Please read the information relating to the Donation Process on this page before contacting us about your donation.
If State Library is unable to accept an item, we may offer it to another library, locate it with Book Crossing publications on level 1 or dispose of it.
Unsolicited donations assessed as not being suitable for the collection may be discarded.
State Library maintains collections to provide for the information needs of all Queensland residents as well as focused collections intended to meet the specific requirements of identified groups.
The collecting focus is responsive to the future research needs of our community. Particular attention is given to the quality and currency of information provided by State Reference Library collections.
Items are purchased for these collections via targeted collection strategies. Donations are not acquired for the Information Collections and are only applicable to State Library’s Memory Collections (principally to the John Oxley Library).
For more information, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.
If you are interested in supporting the State Library of Queensland through financial gift-giving, please refer to the Queensland Library Foundation.
State Library of Queensland is a leading collector of Queensland's documentary heritage. Our collection activities are designed to capture the essence and distinctiveness of Queensland for current and future generations.
We acquire a wide range of content, both contemporary and retrospective, in the interests of chronicling events, people, places and ideas that continue to shape Queensland.
Content is acquired for the informational value it contributes to the building of a collection which reflects the Queensland experience. The emphasis in developing the John Oxley Library collections is on scope and depth rather than on number of items acquired.
Our challenge is to proactively seek material that represents the diversity of the Queensland experience.
We collect both original materials (examples are diaries, letters and oral histories) and materials published in and about Queensland and by Queensland authors.
Materials are collected for their:
Other factors to be considered are:
State Library is committed under the Libraries Act 1988 to provide reference and informational services to the state. State Library maintains collections to provide for the information needs of all Queensland residents.
Material which duplicates items already held in the collection is not collected.
Donations are only accepted for the Memory Collections and must relate substantially to Queensland’s history, culture or development.
Further categories not collected are:
State Library is committed to growing its unique digital heritage collections for the benefit of current and future generations. As with our paper collections, we acquire digital collections through donations, private sales, legal deposit, auctions and bequests.
Digital items generally fall into two categories – born digital and turned digital.
Digital items commonly acquired by State Library include:
Depending on the type, size, fragility and value of your collection, it can be submitted:
Once received by the library your donation will be checked for viruses (digital donations) or pests (paper and analogue donations) and then placed in a queue for processing.
Please be patient. The process of describing, locating and preserving collection items appropriately is time consuming. Your donated item(s) may be 'in process' for quite some time.
If you have any questions about the donation process, please contact us.
State Library of Queensland is not able to accept all donation offers.
While your proposed donation might not match our selection criteria it may be suitable for another collection. Try your local library, archive, museum or historical society.
Below are some links to help you find an alternative home for your item(s):
Unsolicited donations that do not meet our selection criteria will be disposed of at State Library's discretion.
State Library's collections have been significantly enhanced by the generosity of donors who have made bequests to the library. These bequests benefit our entire community and we thank everyone who has made bequests in the past.
If you are considering making a future bequest to the library, it is important that your wishes are clear, concise and without ambiguity.
It is not general practice at State Library to accept "copy loans" of original photographs or other material owned by private individuals, unless the material is of exceptional historical importance. It is State Library's strong preference to accept the original item and to ensure its preservation and ongoing access.
State Library participates in the Cultural Gifts Program, a taxation incentive scheme administered by the Department of Communications and the Arts to encourage culturally significant gifts to public art galleries, museums, libraries and archives.
It is State Library's policy for donors to arrange and pay for the valuation of the material being donated.
State Library purchases collections from contracted library suppliers, antiquarian dealers, vendors and private individuals. The same selection criteria apply to purchases as to donations.
Queensland State Archives, National Archives of Australia and the John Oxley Library are all in the business of preserving collections for future generations and making them publicly available.
Official records created by Queensland Government departments or agencies in their daily work are categorised as government records and are collected by Queensland State Archives.
Original records created by Commonwealth Government departments or agencies are held by the National Archives of Australia.
State Library only collects copies of government publications which have been made available to the general public (i.e. have been published). Official government records not in the published category are collected by the relevant State or National Archives.
In addition to published government items, the John Oxley Library collects a range of unpublished (original) material produced by non-government agencies. Examples are: personal papers and manuscripts, business/organisation records, architectural drawings/ plans, original photographs and motion picture footage, realia, oral histories, artworks and station records.
If the DVDs are substantially related to Queensland or have been produced in Queensland and we don't already have a copy, we would like to see them. Otherwise it is very unlikely we will add them to the collection. Please see the FAQ relating to Movies/Motion Picture footage for more information.
The Bible is the most frequently published book in the English language. Although bibles are quite often offered to State Library, they are generally not accepted for the collection.
The History and Art of the Book Collection holds a number of bibles which are regarded as significant editions. They represent examples of: early and fine printing, fine bindings, illuminations, chromolithography and private press publishing.
If your books are substantially about Queensland or published in Queensland and we don't already have a copy, we would like to see them. In all other cases it is very unlikely we would add them to the collection.
Exceptions are items which might be considered rare or unique because of their binding, printing technique or illustrations. If you think they might be in this category please contact us via the Donation Enquiry Form. Otherwise please see the FAQ 'What happens if my item/collection is not accepted?' for a list of possible alternatives homes for your item.
State Library has a strong commitment to collecting and sharing Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Any material that documents the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Queensland is of significant interest for the collection: from 19th century photographs and manuscripts to contemporary content such as digital stories and digital images. The process for acquiring and making this material available is consistent with State Library's Protocols for Indigenous Collections.
All Queensland publishers including government departments, commercial organisations, clubs, churches, societies and private individuals are required by law to deposit a copy of their publications with State Library of Queensland. This requirement is contained in part 8 of the Libraries Act 1988 (Qld).
A legal deposit requirement may also exist with the Queensland Parliamentary Library and/or the National Library of Australia. Contact details for these libraries are available on the Legal Deposit web page.
If your item is electronic and is to be deposited under Legal Deposit legislation, please refer to Depositing Electronic Publications.
If you live in Queensland and have published in another state, overseas or with online publishers based outside Queensland, then the legal deposit obligation does not apply to your publication.
State Library collects film and video that reflects Queensland's history and its contemporary stories.
A range of formats - including 16mm, Super 8, VHS and digital MOV files - are accepted.
Particular areas of interest include:
The National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) is the lead agency for collecting motion picture footage in Australia. If a copy of a film has already been lodged with NFSA, State Library will not generally acquire another copy. Broadcast footage is not usually accepted.
Donation offers involving works by and about prominent Australians from other states will be assessed for the John Oxley Library collection on the basis of their significance to Queensland. Only works with a high percentage of information about Queensland events, people or places will be considered for inclusion in the collection.
The State Library of Queensland broadly defines a Queensland author as: someone who has published a work (under his or her own name or a nom de plume) and who has resided in Queensland for five or more years.
The criteria for selecting publications for the Queensland collections is substantially different for imaginative works (fiction) and works of non-fiction.
Imaginative works: The State Library's John Oxley Library collects novels, short stories, poetry, stage plays, screen plays and song lyrics by Queensland writers.
Non-fiction works by Queensland writers (excluding legal deposit items), will be assessed for the collection on the basis of their Queensland content. If the work on offer is substantially about Queensland events, people or places it will be considered for the collection.
Books are regarded as rare on the basis of their age, scarcity or monetary value. The State Library of Queensland collects rare books for the John Oxley Library and The Australian Library of Art.
Rare books will be considered for the Australian Library of Art Collections providing they are exhibition quality items related to Australian fine arts such as:
Our donation enquiry form is used to offer a donation.
Two forms may need to be completed to formalise a donation offer.
Item Listing: At the point of making the offer we ask donors to assist us by listing and/or describing their donations, guided by the instructions on the form.
If your offer is accepted, this information will subsequently be incorporated into State Library’s online catalogue record. The detail you provide will enhance the usefulness of the record in providing access to the donated item(s).
If you are unable to complete the listing for any reason, please contact us.
Deed of Gift: If your donation offer involves original content (unpublished records such as diaries, letters or photographs) and is accepted by State Library, we may also ask you to complete a Deed of Gift. The Deed of Gift establishes conditions of access, use and reproduction rights.
State Library is an active participant in PANDORA - Preserving and Accessing Networked Documentary Resources of Australia - a national archive of Australian online publications and websites. For more information about our involvement in PANDORA and to access our collection of archived Queensland websites, please view archived websites.
If you know of a Queensland website that should be preserved, please suggest a site for PANDORA.
Published content: Books, serial publications and related items are considered to have been published if reproductions of their content have been supplied (whether by sale or otherwise) to the general public via a commercial distributor.
Original content: Original materials consist of unpublished personal and organisational records which, in contrast to published content, have not been made available to the general public via a commercial distributor.
Examples include, but are not limited to, manuscripts, personal papers, diaries, letters, business and organisatonal records, architectural plans, motion picture footage, sound recordings and photographs.
These definitions refer to both electronic and hard copy (paper or residing on a physical carrier) versions of a work.
The Queensland Library Foundation seeks donations to maintain, enhance and expand State Library's collections, facilities and services, and to preserve Queensland's cultural heritage. You can support the Foundation's work by making a donation or arranging for a bequest, or contributing to the Legacy Partners Program.