The British Library holds an extensive collection of Australian and New Zealand government publications in print and microform from the colonial era to the present day.
About the collection
The Library's holdings of Australian and New Zealand official publications are very extensive and for Australia are particularly strong in material from the federal government and from Western Australia. They include parliamentary papers and debates, legislation, and statistics including census publications. Most, if not all, Australian and NZ official publications are now freely available online, with many no longer appearing in print.
In 1883 international exchanges of official publications were set up with Tasmania and New Zealand. Similar exchanges followed within a few years with Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, the Commonwealth of Australia, and Western Australia. Exchanges with South Australia and the Northern Territory followed. Before the exchange agreements were started official publications were received by colonial legal deposit, purchase or donation. Exchanges continued, though reduced in size and scope, until recently.
What is available online?
Almost all current Australian and New Zealand Parliamentary and departmental publications can be found free of charge on the Web. Useful sites include:
What is available in our Reading Rooms?
A detailed description of current, or recently ceased, Australian and New Zealand official publications series received by the British Library is available in our guide to Australian and New Zealand official publications (PDF format). Given the complexity of this material, please also ask staff at the Social Sciences Reference Enquiry Desk for help with finding out if we have the documents you need.
Some reference books and finding aids to older Australian and New Zealand official publications are shelved in the Social Sciences reading room. Most printed official publications have to be requested for delivery in the Social Sciences reading room.
Electronic resources and journals can be accessed in the Reading Rooms. These include:
- Informit, a collection of databases (including APAFT - Australian Public Affairs Full Text) which covers a wide range of research from Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region
- House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, 1688-, which has a wealth of material on the political, social and economic development of the region in the 19th century in particular.