(books, artists books, money, equipment, love, time)

We’ve begun building our collection, but we need community support to help us grow and to open a reading room in 2021! All funds directly contribute to the building of our collection, opening our public reading room, and connecting with community.

>> We are now accepting tax-deductible donations via The Australian Cultural Fund << 

So far, donations have allowed us to physically prepare our collection for circulation, to purchase the cataloguing software required to upkeep the collection at industry standards, and to commission a local artist to design our inaugural bookmark. This support has allowed us to begin circulation from October 14!

Further monetary donations will help us in the following ways:

  • $25 adds another book to our shared shelves

  • $500 will cover general and administrative costs 

  • $2000 will fund the purchasing of key texts, focusing on those not held in other local collections

  • $5000 will allow us to establish a 'collections hub' in the Melbourne CBD for the first six months of 2021 

  • Major gifts will enable us to operate a public reading room, with the amount of funding dictating the scale of the first iteration

Collection Donations

Melbourne Art Library gratefully welcomes donations from organisations and individuals. The generosity of our donors allows us to continue building our collection of texts and making them available to the widest public possible. 

If you have a collection of art books that you feel it's time to part with, are on a mission to downsize your possessions, want to deposit your own artist books or photobooks in a public collection, or just have a book you want to share with the world, please get in touch.

Galleries, museums, magazines, publishing houses, and other organisations and artists who produce publications on art and design practice are also invited to donate works to the collection. These titles will be made available to our public users and listed in our online catalogue.


Please get in contact via email if you would like to discuss donation or ongoing depository arrangements. MAL is able to arrange no-contact collection of donations from around Melbourne. We may be able to arrange collection of donations in other cities and states, depending on the content and location. 

One of the great things about contributing to MAL is that all resources will remain accessible to the public - you! Once our reading room opens, all donors can continue to access their books, alongside the other great texts we've pooled together. Everyone wins!

Donations of materials also brings to light texts that otherwise may have missed our radar. Broadly, we collect texts encompassing art in all media, theory and criticism, with a focus on Australian, South-East Asian, and Pacific contexts. The collection also includes ephemera and documentation of artistic practice (exhibition fliers, catalogue essays, other published materials) related to Australian artists and visual art organisations, and theoretical and critical texts published for the international arts community.

Please read our Donations Policy prior to getting in contact. Donated material is assessed for acquisition in line with our Collection Development Policy.

Donors are acknowledged by name on custom bookplates attached to donated resources. These bookplates will be commissioned by a different local artist each year, providing an opportunity for artist engagement and a way of marking the collaborative growth of our collection over time. The 2020 bookplate designer is Esther Carlin

We are working on attaining Deductible Gift Recipient endorsement.


We acknowledge the Wurundjeri 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. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land!