From very humble beginnings in 1946, today the University Library has grown to be one of the nation's premier research and teaching collections.

Through judicious acquisitions, generous benefactions and strategic partnerships, the Library has grown from the initial 40,000 volumes assembled by the first University Librarian, A.L.G. McDonald, to become a diverse collection covering the Sciences, Social Sciences and the Humanities, Law, and Art and Music.

A highlight of the collection, headquartered in the R.G. Menzies Building, is its Asia-Pacific resources. The collection began with the acquisition of the Xu Dishan [許地山] Chinese collection in Hong Kong in 1950, to which was added a Russian acquisition (1954) the Pacific (Pacific Manuscript Bureau materials, 1968), and Southeast Asia (a result of the Hobbs Review 1973). The University Library currently boasts print holdings in the millions and is enthusiastically embracing the digital age with its online databases, digital theses, ANU Press, and special collections.