Barr Smith Library Appeal

When you donate to the Barr Smith Library, you are directly supporting our students and researchers. 

The Barr Smith Library is more than just a place to study – for almost 130 years it has been a place where students and researchers alike have found support and space for quiet reflection, while still being at the very heart of our North Terrace campus.

When you give to the Barr Smith Library Appeal, you are preserving those experiences for generations of students to come.

Barr Smith Library


This year, contribute directly to the Adopt-a-Book program to support conservation, the purchase of potential new acquisitions and the digitisation of our most fragile items.

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Barr Smith Library 2022 appeal

Special Collections within the University of Adelaide Library houses a fascinating array of our most valuable and vulnerable publications, comprising old and rare books, fine and limited editions, alongside the University’s other cultural collections including manuscripts, archives, heritage items and artwork.

To preserve and maintain the Special Collections, comprising some 85,000 items, the Adopt-a-Book program was officially launched in February 2012. An initiative of the Friends of the University of Adelaide Library network, it provides our community the opportunity to donate towards the conservation of a rare and fragile book.

From 2022 the Barr Smith Library Appeal will contribute directly to the Adopt-a-Book program to support conservation, the purchase of potential new acquisitions and the digitisation of our most fragile items. Many books in the collections dating from the 15th to 19th centuries are still in urgent need of repair, and the purchase of other special collections and digitisation of current historical and rare books is ongoing.

Dr Jane Lomax-Smith AM

Dr Jane Lomax-Smith AM

Thanks to our generous donors more than 80 volumes have been conserved over the past ten years, ensuring their ongoing availability for future generations of researchers and learners.

The Adopt-a-Book scheme gives individuals or groups the opportunity to select an item or set of volumes from this rare, historic and unique collection for specialist conservation or repair. I love being able to actually see the impact of every gift I make. It is a joyful and tangible way to contribute and protect the legacy of past benefactors.Dr Jane Lomax-Smith AM


The impact of digital collections

With more than 2.5 million scholarly resources – including books, cds, digitised content and 1.2 million electronic resources – the Library, through the acquisition of key collections, is committed to supporting its community of more than 21,000 learners.

The Barr Smith Library has always held a special place in our history. It provides vital resources to our researchers and contributes to our position as South Australia's premier research-intensive University. It supports our students across the full breadth of the University, from undergraduate to postgraduate studies.

The needs of students at the University of Adelaide today are radically different from students who arrived 10 or 20 years ago. Across our almost 150 year history, we have consistently delivered the most prestigious tertiary education in the State and take pride in shaping the leaders of tomorrow.

We are committed to fostering excellence, which means adapting our teaching and learning resources to meet these evolving needs. The nature of study and research today demands a strong digital focus and it is our job to deliver this.

Barr Smith Library Appeal

For a discussion about how you can support the Barr Smith Library Appeal, please get in touch with our Development team on +61 8 8313 5800 or