Friends of the Library

  • About the friends

    The Friends of the University of Sydney Library have been a vital part of our community for over 60 years.


    Since the first Annual General Meeting of the Friends in 1962, their generous contributions have facilitated the acquisition, conservation and digitisation of rare scholarly materials—from medieval illuminated manuscripts to seminal mathematical and medical texts. Notable contributions include facsimile editions of The Book of Kells and The Lindisfarne Gospels, and manuscripts by iconic Australian poets Douglas Stewart and Henry Lawson.


    The Friends presented the Library with its first (1966), second (1976) and third (1983) millionth books, and in recent years have supported the Printer in Residence program.


    Additionally, the Friends advocate for the Library’s collections and services through their networks and assist in acquiring expert advice for rare books, manuscripts, and other materials. 


    May it continue for ever as the source of light and learning to the inhabitants of Australia. This generation will soon pass away but the torch of learning will be handed down by the influence of this great library to generation after generation of Australian scholars.

        – University Chancellor, Sir Henry Normand MacLaurin, on the opening of Fisher Library in 1909 (Radford & Fletcher, 1984)    


    For more information about the history of the Friends, read “Per adua ad libros” The Friends of the University of Sydney Library 1961 – 1984 by John Fletcher. 

  • The Friends Committee

    The Committee oversees the activities of the Friends.


    President: Ross Coleman

    Vice President: Kim Wilson

    Hon Secretary/Treasurer: Emeritus Professor Nerida Newbigin

    Patron: Dr Neil Radford

    Members: Janet Flint, Evan Bailey, Professor Margaret Harris, Philip Kent (University Librarian, ex officio), Julie Sommerfeldt, (Rare Books and Special Collections Manager, ex officio).

  • Join

    By joining the Friends, you will become part of a community of like-minded people with a common interest in the work of the Library. You will also receive special invitations to Library exhibitions and events, including talks about collection highlights.


    Membership is free and we welcome new members at any time.


    Become a Friend of the Library

  • Related information

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