Basser Library and Fenner Archives

The Academy is currently working to preserve the historically significant holdings of the Basser Library (books and journals) and Fenner Archives. The collections, although in good condition, require improved conservation management and findability to ensure their longevity and maximise their benefit to Australian and international science history researchers.


The Basser Library was established in February 1960 with a gift from Sir Adolph Basser. Its main objectives were to collect materials documenting the history of science in Australia and to conduct and promote related historical research.


The manuscripts collection was established in 1962, and manuscript or archival collections have since been donated to the Fenner Archives by numerous Fellows of the Academy, other prominent scientists, and scientific organisations.

The 233 manuscript collections of Fellows and other leading scientists, in particular, are valuable original sources of information on the history of Australian science. 

The Academy has a long-term aim to professionally digitise important historical content, dependent on substantial, special-purpose funding. Donate to support digitisation of the archives.

The Academy’s current work in preserving and recording the collections to best practice standards will be of great future value and support knowledge of the archives. An updated catalogue of collections will be made available for the information of researchers.


Contact the Academy to enquire about accessing the library and archives. 


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