The National Library of Australia holds a rich and diverse range of documentary materials relating to the Pacific region, including Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia and New Zealand. Our Pacific collection features excellent holdings of books, journals, newspapers, manuscripts, maps and pictures, as well as ephemera and selected websites, from the earliest accounts of European exploration of the region to contemporary publications.

The Library's Pacific Collections webpage provides a general description of the Pacific-related material held in our collections and highlights some of our treasures in this area.

This guide aims to assist researchers in identifying and using the Library’s collection and provide pathways to a variety of other resources beyond the National Library’s collections.

Searching the Library's collection

The best way to explore the Library’s collection is to use our online catalogue. A simple search of the catalogue using terms such as ‘Pacific’, ‘Pacific Islands’ or the names of specific islands, regions or countries, such as ‘Fiji’ or ‘Melanesia’ or words in the title, author’s name and subject terms will locate relevant collection items the Library holds. It works better to start with a broader term then use the options at the right of the page under ‘Narrow search’ to sort search results. The options to help refine search results list include format, such as book, map, microform, manuscript, journal, picture, and date, subject and language. You can also limit the results to include online or digital materials only.

The catalogue also allows you to browse the collections by title, author, subject, series and Dewey number. To browse general works about the Pacific, click on the Browse alphabetically tab, choose Browse subjects then use terms such as Pacific.

With a National Library login, you can request items to use in the reading rooms. If you are unable to visit the Library, you can use our Copies Direct service to order a copy of an item subject to the Australian Copyright Act 1968, and have it sent to you via email or post.

More information on catalogue search and our collection delivery service can be found on our Getting started page.


These are general sites for researching the Pacific Ocean region on the Internet and provide a starting place for researchers in this field. They provide a diverse range of information on the Pacific region as well as links to other useful sites.

Digital Pasifik

A key part of the Pacific Virtual Museum pilot project hosting digitised Pasifik content from institutions around the world

PacLII (Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute)

An initiative of the University of the South Pacific School of Law to promote access to Pacific law.

PRISM (Pacific Regional Information System)

Socio-economic database for the Pacific Region.

CIA World Factbook

US government profiles of countries and territories around the world. Select individual countries, or "Pacific Ocean."

Tags: Pacific

Related links:

South Pacific Commission

Microfilm of 78 manuscripts copied by the Commission, written by missionaries, anthropologists, and linguists between 1900 and 1956 and publications produced by the Commission.

German Colonies in the Pacific

Papers and microfilm of original records relating to the German colonies in the Pacific from 1884-1914.

Not sure where to start?