The collection of over 2,500 rare and valuable books and pamphlets of significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies is one of the major features of the AIATSIS Library. The collection contains early published works of ethnographic, anthropological and historical importance, including works containing sensitive cultural information. It is housed in secure environmentally controlled storage in the Institute's building on Acton Peninsula in Canberra.
Requests to read items may be made at the Library's reference desk and used in the reading room. A selection of items from the works is presented here.
"Portraits" presents a range of portrait images from the Rare Book collection.
"First Images" presents a range of early images from the First Fleet and early Sydney.