Update on rebuilding the JB Chifley Library collection - March 2019

An update from University Librarian Roxanne Missingham
4 March 2019

I am very pleased to provide an update on the work that has been occurring to develop the collection and building as part of the post flood work for the JB Chifley Library. We are grateful to the continuing support from ANU academics and the ANU community. I would particularly like to thank library staff for the work and support for library users over the year. We have now reached the first anniversary and much work has been done to begin rebuilding the collection.


Over 1,044 donations have been processed from 65 individuals (there are 600 items still outstanding from the donations database). We are enormously grateful to all our donors - both book and financial. The material has been processed into the collection and all are available on Level 3 of the JB Chifley Library.  Thanks to every donor – your contributions are highly valued by all scholars at the university. We are currently working on two larger donations offered to us in recent weeks.

Ordering new material

If you require any material that was lost in the flood please contact the Library – Meredith.Duncan@anu.edu.au. We have ordered every title that we could identify as required or essential reading in in this year’s programs that were unavailable because of the flood. If we have missed any material please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Where material is on order and not yet received, the record in the Integrated Library Management System states “# of items on order for [Branch name]".

Acquiring new material

Photo of books from Barry's Bookshop

Library staff have been working on a range of activities to replace lost materials.  We have used many different suppliers for this exercise. 

As an example Meredith Duncan and Professor Frank Bongiorno have made a very successful journey to Barry’s Bookshop in Fyshwick. More than 200 replacement copies have been acquired so far, which are already making their way into back into the Chifley collection. Thanks to the generosity of Barry and Trish Canty for their enthusiastic support of our work acquiring material to replace Australian history and politics collections lost in the Chifley Flood.

Dr Alexander Cook has accompanied Meredith on a trip that explored the European and British History collections at Barry’s.

Collection relocation

In the coming months we will be reshelving resources within the Library so that the collection is shelved in a clear order.

To assist in this process, the following collections are being relocated:

  • HM-HT     Chifley      Sociology, The Family, Communities. Classes. Races
  • HV             Law          Social pathology, Social and public welfare, Criminology
  • HX             Chifley     Socialism, Communism, Anarchism
  • L                Law          Education

Building work – Levels 1 and 2

We are hoping to see building work commence shortly on Level 1, which remains inaccessible to students and staff. By the middle of the year we hope to open up the level with approximately 200 new student seating spaces. Following the completion of Level 1, work on Level 2 will commence which includes a door to the bridge from Kambri, a new service are, and the moving of staff areas.

2019 Chifley Library water issues

JB Chifley Library was affected by water in February and we had to close the library a number of times. In the first week there was significant water ingest through the roof following a storm, and the affected area had to be closed off. No books were lost at Chifley, although the Menzies Library had much more significant damage from this storm and water also came into the Archives area at Underhill. The next week, water pipes on Level 4 burst and the area was closed for several days. No collection material was damaged from that water event.


Significant work is occurring to collect the data required for the flood claim. We are working systematically through the parts of the collection and have almost finalised the monograph claim, with other parts of the collection in draft.

Future building and collection storage planning

A draft collection storage framework has been prepared. This aims to assist in finding a better method for an integrated storage solution that would reduce the risk of future flood damage. It will be considered by the Library Advisory Committee. Documents are being prepared for the Campus Planning Committee that might enable the costing of storage options and a new library.

Academic Working Group

I am pleased to announce that Associate Professor Llewelyn Hughes, Associate Dean for Research at the College of Asia & the Pacific has joined the Academic Group advising the Library on this matter.


Thank you again for your support.