The Australian Literature Resource
The National Library of Australia maintains the Diaries, letters, archives site as part of its Trove service. The site includes collection level descriptions of thousands of Australian archives, derived from Kinetica, the National Bibliographic Database and from records contributed directly by archives.
The University of Western Australia maintains the Guide to Australian Literary Manuscripts service. The service includes Guides to many important Australian literary archives. These Guides have all been encoded using the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) format, which supports sophisticated searching across a whole series of finding aids, rather than within single documents. The Guide to Australian Literary Manuscripts is a free service.
In addition to these search services, a number of collecting institutions provide access to detailed catalogue records or HTML Guides through internal services. These include:
- The National Library's Manuscript Finding Aid repository for its own HTML Guides to collections
- The National Archives of Australia, especially its Fact Sheet on ASIO files on writers and literary organisations
- The Fryer Library at the The University of Queensland
- The University of Sydney
- The State Library of New South Wales Pictures and Manuscripts (PICMAN) catalogue for collections acquired or catalogued after 1992
- Most archival collections are composed of unique items and are therefore available for research only at the holding institution - collections or items are generally not available for loan.
- Many archives and manuscript collections have access, reproduction and publishing restrictions placed upon them, and it is wise for researchers to check the availability of collections before visiting the archive or library.
- As any permitted copying is generally undertaken by preservation trained staff, researchers should expect to pay photocopying charges well above the standard 'self-copying' charges.
- As many archives require special handling to ensure their longevity, researchers may be asked to wear gloves, handle materials in particular ways, and to work under the close supervision of archive staff.
- Only a tiny proportion of Australian literary papers have been digitised for direct internet access. Digitisation is very expensive, especially for special, non standard materials. Some very important literary collections have been microfilmed, with the microfilms available for wide distribution.