(current resources, suggest titles, wish list)

Becoming a borrowing member of Melbourne Art Library is free and available to all. Search and reserve books through our online catalogue. 


We held our last contactless borrowing run on November 11, and will open our public site in the Nicholas Building, Melbourne CBD on Friday November 27.


Check back here, follow our Instagram and subscribe to our mailing list to stay up to date with opening hours! 

Collection Development

Melbourne Art Library's principal aim is to collect key texts on art practice in Australia, South-East Asia and the Pacific. While encouraging interdisciplinary thought, the collection focuses on content pertaining to Art and Design. Complementary to maintaining a local focus, MAL continues to collect theoretical and critical texts published for the broader international arts community.

While not intending to act as an archive, MAL collects ephemeral and unpublished material reflective of the activity and history of arts practice in Australia. By including material which may be missed by other collecting bodies, we hope to represent and record the dynamic and temporal reality of local arts practice in our concepts of 'Australian art history'.

The collection supports the interests of its users, and responds to trends in local discourse and to user suggestions. MAL aims to provide a breadth of perspectives on art- and design-related subjects, and is mindful of the representing artists and voices from a range of backgrounds. 

Selection decisions show an awareness of other institution's collections and aims to provide access to typically hard-to-access resources.

For more information, read our Collection Development Policy.

(An Ever-Growing) Reading List

We want your input! What titles should we add to our collection? What texts do you want access to? What resources do you wish more people had read?

View our current Reading List / Wish List and add your suggestions. 


We are shaped by our curriculums, both formal and informal. We are all part of unconscious echo-chambers, forming narratives and new knowledge from the resources we are exposed to. 


In an attempt to widen our reading lists, to realign our frames of reference, and to listen to those not represented in existing collections, Melbourne Art Library is building (An Ever-Growing) Reading List. 


As a public resource, these lists will hopefully bring some under-appreciated titles to light, and encourage conversations around the importance of curriculums and popular texts in shaping histories and cultural identities. 


This list will also be used as a key resource by our librarians when considering new acquisitions for the MAL collection. We will take particular note of titles that are not currently held in public collections in Melbourne, and those that are suggested multiple times. 


This list has been developed through reaching out directly to contributors and welcoming contributions from the general public. This list will be updated regularly, with titles added in order or submission.


We’d love to hear what texts are important to you. If you have a reading list or title to suggest and add to the list, please let us know!


We acknowledge the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we live, dream, and create. We respect their ongoing connection to country.