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Parliamentary Library of Australia

The Parliamentary Library of Australia (or Commonwealth Parliamentary Library) is the library of the Parliament of Australia, administered by its Department of Parliamentary Services. It provides library services to elected officials, namely members of the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as their staff, parliamentary committees, the Governor-General of Australia, and the staff of parliamentary departments.



The library was established in 1901, the year of the federation of the Commonwealth of Australia. Control of the new library was controversial as the fledgling parliament was located in Melbourne where the Victorian premier and the library committee of the State Library of Victoria sought to influence the control and management of the library.[1][2]

From 1923 the library used two names describing the two roles and two collections Commonwealth Parliament Library which designated the parliamentary collection and Commonwealth National Library to designate the national collection.[3] The collections were relocated from Melbourne to Canberra in 1927.[4]

Sir Harold White served as Parliamentary Librarian from 1947 to 1967.[5] In 1960 the National Library of Australia was created by act of parliament.[6][7][3] The collections were separated when the National Library of Australia building was completed.[8]


The staff of the Library is led by the Parliamentary Librarian, a statutory officer responsible for the control and management of the Library, reporting to the Presiding Officers and the Library Committee. The staff provide a media monitoring service, research and analysis as well as managing the library collection.[9]

The Parliamentary Library publishes the Australian Parliamentary Handbook, which provides information about Parliament including the parliamentary service and political careers of Senators and Members, parliamentary committees and elections.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY". The Age (14, 478). Victoria, Australia. 1 August 1901. p. 6. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  2. ^ "THE PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY". The Age (14, 473). Victoria, Australia. 26 July 1901. p. 5. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Commonwealth Parliament Library (Australia) – Libraries Australia Search". Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  4. ^ "The National Library of Australia Storehouse of knowledge". The Canberra Times. 42, (12, 080). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 15 August 1968. p. 27. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Sir Harold still watching over his library". The Canberra Times. 58, (17, 590). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 26 November 1983. p. 10. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Commonwealth Parliament Library (Australia). – People and organisations". Trove. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  7. ^ "About the Parliamentary Library". Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  8. ^ "THE FIRST 100,000". The Canberra Times. 41, (11, 633). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 10 March 1967. p. 32. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Part 4 The Parliamentary Library". Retrieved 23 May 2016.

Further readingEdit

  • Australia. Department of the Parliamentary Library (1900), Annual report, AGPS, retrieved 1 March 2016
  • Cochrane, Peter, 1950–; National Library of Australia (2001), Remarkable occurrences : the National Library of Australia's first 100 years 1901–2001, National Library of Australia, ISBN 978-0-642-10730-5CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Commonwealth Parliament Library (Australia) (1972), Department of the Parliamentary Library : a descriptive account ([Rev. ed.] ed.), Parliament of Australia, retrieved 1 March 2016
  • Osborn, Andrew D. (Andrew Delbridge); Osborn, Margaret; National Library of Australia; Australia. Department of the Parliamentary Library; Osborn, Andrew D. (Andrew Delbridge), 1902–1997; Osborn, Margaret (1989), The Commonwealth Parliamentary Library, 1901–27 and the origins of the National Library of Australia, Dept. of the Parliamentary Library in association with the National Library of Australia, ISBN 978-0-642-14697-7CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  • White, H. L. (1965). Commonwealth Parliamentary Library. The Australian Library Journal, 14(2), 70.