Special Collections

The Library provides access to several special collections and rare books (books of notable age, uniqueness of value). Special collections are housed and provided for access under special conditions in order to preserve them for the UTS community into the future. Current special collections include:

China Library

The China Library is a collection of material relating to philosophy, politics, history, education, culture, science and technology, Chinese language and contemporary Chinese life. Up to 50% of publications are in English or bilingual.

Jack Lindsay Collection

The eldest son of Norman Lindsay, Jack Lindsay’s collection reflects his work as novelist, poet, translator, publisher, historian, and life-long supporter of the political Left. The collection contains examples of his published writings, unpublished papers and personal objects.

The Library was selected as the site of this important collection due to its extensive Norman Lindsay collection, which the Jack Lindsay collection complements.

Unique items from the collection, have been digitised and are available from the Library’s publications repository OPUS.

Kohler Collection

The Kohler collection is a selection of largely late 19th and early 20th century social and political histories purchased from the prominent British collector and bookseller, Chris Kohler. This important collection includes works on the fundamentals of Marxist political economy, social reformists, and British-German foreign relations before World War I.

Norman Lindsay Collection

The Norman Lindsay collection has more than 600 books and journals written by or about the Australian writer, painter, and sculptor Norman Lindsay. Complied by collector James Kemsley, the collection chronicles the life and work of one of Australia’s most notable artists and the social, cultural and artistic context in which he worked.

Rare Books

The Library has a number of rare books on various topics available for restricted access.

The Library has also digitised a selection of its Special Collections and Rare Books to view online. This special collection of out of copyright works includes children’s fiction, Australian flora, Australian education, poetry, art and Illustration.

Conditions to access rare books

  • rare books must be used in the Library
  • rare books must be used under supervision
  • photocopying and scanning of rare books is not usually permitted
  • special arrangements may be requested by application in writing to the University Librarian


The Typography collection is a valuable resource of materials illustrating the development of typography, typesetting, graphic trade symbols & trademarks. The collection includes works on wood-block printing based on the Japanese practice.

Accessing a special collection item

Special Collection items can be found in the Library catalogue by searching by title, author or keyword and selecting the Special Collection to view from the facets on the left of the results page.

Items from Special Collections must be requested from the Library Retrieval System using the Get It: Request option in the catalogue record.

  • Some Special Collection items may be available for loan, but most must be viewed in the Library.
  • Requests must be made at least 24 hours before you visit the Library, so that we have time to ensure items are available.

Digitisations of a selection of the Library's Special Collections can be viewed on the Internet Archive. This collection of out-of-copyright works includes children's fiction, Australian flora, Australian education, poetry, art, and illustration. Each item is available in multiple formats for download.