Please note the library will be closed Tuesday the 9th to Friday the 12th of July as the carpet is being replaced. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.


What's in the library?

You’ll find all sorts of resources and skilled librarians to help you find information and put your research into the wider context of Australia’s rich maritime heritage. Let us help you on your voyage of discovery!

Our collection features:

  • Numerous shipping records to track down the movement of people and vessels in and out of Australia’s waters over the last 250 years, such as Lloyd’s List (1741–1900), Lloyd’s Captains Register (1851–1901) and Register Veritas for non-British vessels (1829–1981).

  • Rare, out-of-print and hard-to-find works about maritime communities, people, vessels, organisations, events, technologies, sports and art. Examples include Kathleen’s Voyage: the Log Book of the Kathleen Gillett; Observations on the Diseases of Seamen; and America’s Cup Yacht Designs, 1851–1986.

  • Standard reference books and specialist works on maritime history, archaeology, conservation and restoration. These invaluable sources include Log of Logs, Shipping Arrivals and Departures, Royal Australian Navy List, Register of British Ships, Australian Ports and many shipping company histories.

  • An impressive collection of journals and magazines that contain a wealth of news, techniques, plans and photographs of shipbuilding, yachting and surfing. These sources range from Tracks, Seacraft and Australian Motorboat & Yachting to The Rudder: the Magazine for Yachtsmen and Shipbuilder & Marine Engineering Magazine.

  • Transcripts of many of the original diaries, journals, logs and letters held by the museum.

  • Access to subscription-only library and genealogy databases.

  • Hard copies of the museum’s globally recognised magazine, Signals.


General Information

The library is open to the public from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm Monday to Thursday (excluding public holidays). Everyone is welcome, including small groups, but we ask that you make an appointment if possible. Please telephone or email to arrange a time or ask at the reception desk in the Wharf 7 building.

Phone: 02 9298 3739 or 02 9298 3693


Visiting address: Level 2, Wharf 7 Maritime Heritage Centre, 58 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009 (located next to the main museum building). A lift is conveniently located just next to the library for visitors with impaired mobility.

  • Search the library catalogue - our holdings are also listed on Trove.
  • Benefit from expert advice via our many research guides
  • Read books and magazines online on our website
  • Make an appointment to visit the library to conduct your own research
  • Contact us by telephone or email for assistance with your migration and maritime enquiries
Service Fee (all prices exclude GST)
Inter-library loans

Core (4 working days)

Copies $18.50 for electronic delivery.

Loan $28.50 including default delivery fees for normal delivery.


Rush (within 24 hours)

Copies $37.00 for electronic delivery.

Loan $52.00 including default fees for Express Post delivery.


Express (within 2 hours)

Copies $55.00 for electronic delivery.

Loan $70.50 including default delivery fees for express-post or courier equivalent delivery.
Photocopying and printouts

40 cents per A4 page, 80 cents per A3 page. Colour copies $2.00 per page.

Free for Members of the museum.
Individual requests There is no charge to visit and conduct research in the library. There is also no fee for simple information requests (less than 1 hour).
Detailed research enquiries   We undertake research for members of the public for up to 1 hour free of charge. Any further research initiated by the requester will be charged at the rate of $40.00 per hour, plus costs for any requested copying. Research is undertaken by a team of specialist librarians and may include skilled volunteers working under the direction of the library staff. We aim to answer public enquiries within 2 weeks.
Corporate enquiries    Enquiries from commercial organisations are charged at $90.00 per hour plus additional costs including photocopying and database searches. The response time for corporate enquiries is 3 working days.
Information requests from other libraries, government organisations and museums Free of charge.
Photographic prints from the museum’s collection Find out about obtaining reproductions of images from our historic photograph collections or of other collection objects.

For general enquiries & appointments phone: 02 9298 3731;
For Inter-library loans Phone: 02 9298 3739; or 

Vaughan Evans OAM (1924–93) was a founding patron of the library and a well-known figure in maritime history circles. He was a tireless proponent of the Australian National Maritime Museum and a consultant to governments on maritime heritage issues. A founder of the Australian Association for Maritime History, he was its long-time newsletter editor. His extensive personal library, donated in 1986, formed a nucleus of the library’s holdings. Vaughan was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 1988 for his role in raising the standards and profile of the discipline of maritime history. We are proud to honour his memory and his collection.