Menzies Library

The RG Menzies Building, known as the Menzies Library, is the hub of the Library's Asia Pacific focused services. The Menzies Library is a heritage-listed building and is named after former Prime Minister Sir Robert Gordon Menzies for his contribution to the development of higher education and research in Australia.


The Library's holdings of Asian scholarly materials are considered to be the most comprehensive among Australian university libraries and are well compared internationally. In addition, the Menzies Library together with the ANU Archives constitute a major resource centre for Pacific studies.

The Menzies Library collection supports Asia Pacific studies in the fields of history, anthropology, politics and international relations, literature and language, religion and philosophy.

Material unique to the Menzies Library includes:

  • East Asian language collections (Chinese/Japanese/Korean)
  • Asia Pacific Official Documents
  • Rare books, Manuscripts & Special Collections
  • ANU theses collection

Non Chinese-Japanese-Korean (CJK) Asia Pacific related collections in other disciplines such as cultural studies, economics, the environment, or sociology are distributed among other Library buildings on campus. These collections contain significant holdings in languages such as Indonesian and Malay; Vietnamese; Thai; Hindi; Sanskrit, and Tibetan. Other languages represented include Burmese, Tagalog, Mongolian, Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, Manchu and more.

The major strengths of the Library's Asia Pacific collection include:

East Asia

  • China-approximately 250,000 volumes in Chinese and other languages covering Chinese language and literature; history; politics; statistics; religion; classical studies in collectanea; 20th century newspapers and periodicals, and resource materials on the Cultural Revolution. Recent collecting foci include gender; feminism; crime; economics, and urban development. 
  • Japan-130,000 volumes in Japanese and other languages on a variety of topics including the humanities fields of philosophy; religion; history (pre-Meiji); local history and geography; linguistics, and literature. In recent years, the emphasis has moved towards law; politics; international relations; economics and trade, and post-Meiji history.
  • Korea-the collection comprises a heritage collection and some contemporary material dedicated to the support of undergraduate Korean study at ANU. Current foci include North Korea; comfort women, and 20th century Korean history.

Southeast Asia

  • Indonesia-more than 40,000 volumes on a variety of topics including history; economics; politics and government; development studies; cultural studies; anthropology; language and literature, and religion in Indonesian, English, Dutch, French, German and regional Indonesian languages. Of note is the Dutch archival material relating to Indonesia, together with Javanese, Malay and Balinese manuscript collections in microform.
  • Vietnam-close to 14,000 titles in Vietnamese, French, English and Chinese. The collection also includes some 173 journals as well as some printed music, videos, DVDs and sound recordings. This collection is particularly strong in anthropology, politics, social change, demography, legal studies, history, literature and religion.
  • Thailand/Burma-close to 13,000 titles in various western and indigenous languages. The strengths of this collection are in language; literature; history; politics; Buddhism; architecture, and archaeology. It continues to expand in areas of social science.

South Asia

  • The 40,000-strong collection contains material on and from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, in both indigenous and western languages,and includes religion; history; language; literature and philosophy, with a growing focus on contemporary issues in politics; cultural studies; international relations; security, and environmental studies. The collection focuses on three major languages of the region-Sanskrit, Hindi and Tibetan, with an increasing portion in Urdu.


  • The Library has been collecting Pacific research, study and teaching materials for over forty years and represents a major resource for Pacific Island studies and research in Australia and the region. The collection focuses on the history and society of all Pacific island countries and territories, although there is a distinct emphasis on Papua New Guinea and Melanesia in general.

Middle East & Central Asia

  • The Library's Middle East collection is rapidly growing and covers multiple disciplines ranging from economics, politics, social science and archaeology to literature and architecture. The Library currently holds material on Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia as well as Central Asia and the Caucasus. The collection includes a variety of resources including maps; bibliographies and indices; monographs; print and electronic journals; historical resources on microfilm/fiche, and reference materials in both print and electronic formats.

Access to the collection

The collections can be accessed via the Library Catalogue. For non-western language materials, please use a romanized search for best results.

Additional Library services

Specialist advice

Language and subject specialists for China, Japan, Korea, South and South East Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific are available for in-depth consultations either with individuals or groups. Please contact the Information Desk for more details.

ANU Theses & Rare Books (closed access)

These items are available for use in the Menzies Library only. Requests to view this material can be submitted online or at the Information Desk.

Group Study Rooms

Menzies has three bookable group study rooms available, with a DVD/video player available in one of the group study rooms.

Microform reader scanner

You can read, print, scan, email and save images to USB drive, CD or hard drive from microfilms and microfiche using the ScanPro digital scanner on Level 1. You can book to use this scanner using our online booking form.


A limited number of lockers are available for students and are allocated at the beginning of the academic year. Conditions apply. For more information enquire at the Information Desk or phone 612 52005.


Information desk
 +61 2 6125 2005
Document Supply
 +61 2 6125 4630
Collection development - Asia Pacific
 +61 2 6125 2005
 +61 2 6125 2005

Today's opening hours

  • Find out more about our opening hours here.



Menzies floorplans
Menzies resources floor guide

Primary contact