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Schaeffer Fine Art Library
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Schaeffer Fine Arts Library

One of the largest art reference libraries in Australia

The Schaeffer Fine Arts Library is a key resource that provides facilities for individual study and research and a collection of materials that is distinguished by both academic quality and breadth.

Our collection

The library’s collection comprises approximately 140,000 items including books, journals, exhibition catalogues, dissertations and visual media. Our collection subject scope encompasses the history of the visual arts with a particular focus on modern and contemporary artists and movements, art of the Asia-Pacific region, and Australian indigenous art. The collection includes works on semiotics, philosophy, cultural studies, museum and gallery curation, architecture, literature, photography and cinema.

The library also holds part of the personal archives of Emeritus Professor Bernard Smith, and the archives of the Sherman Gallery.


Allen, Jack & Cottier architects designed the library space as a synthesis of modernist and humanist ideals. Large windows and high ceilings in the main reading area create a light and airy environment with a vista over the tennis courts and playing fields of The Square.

The mezzanine study areas are naturally lit by skylights and dedicated areas on this floor are provided for digital media viewing, rare books and materials relating to Japanese art. A research room is set aside for the use of postgraduate students and visiting scholars, and public computers are also available on this level.

The library is closely associated with the Discipline of Art History and Discipline of  Film Studies and provides specific materials and facilities for students undertaking related courses.

Using the Library

  • The library is open to all university staff and students, and the general public.
  • Schaeffer Library is a reference only library - borrowing is not permitted.
  • The library is a facility for quiet private research only - group discussion areas are not available.
  • Please switch all mobile devices to silent mode when in the library - do not make or receive voice calls.
  • Please do not bring food and drinks into the library (allowance is made for bottled water and beverages in resealable containers).

Opening hours

During semesters: Monday to Friday, 8:30am-6pm

Out of semester: Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm (closed 1pm-2pm)

Please note: Schaeffer Library will be closed from June 28th to July 2nd 2021

Please check the Schaeffer Library page on the Power Publications website for changes to opening hours.

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Power Institute

Sharing the latest ideas on art with the world

We curate public talks and workshops from internationally renowned scholars, house one of Australia's leading fine art libraries, publish award-winning titles and engage with partner organisations to generate new research.

Information desk

Anthony Green

Senior Librarian

Nicholas Keyzer


The Schaeffer Fine Arts Library