The Korean language collection of the National Library of Australia is the largest and most significant Korean collection in Australia. The strengths of the collection lie in the subject fields of the social sciences and humanities, especially economics, statistics, politics and government including government publications, foreign relations and law; Korean history, biography and archaeology; language and literature; philosophy, religion and fine arts. It comprises monographs, journals, newspapers and some DVDs and ephemera.
While much of the post-1950s Korean language collection comes from South Korea, the focus of collecting has now shifted to acquiring material from North Korea. Contemporary South Korean collecting has moved from print to online with the purchase of ebooks and subscriptions to online databases such as the Korean Social-Science Data Centre.
In addition to the general Korean collection, the Library also holds the McLaren Human Collection, a gift to the National Library from Mrs Jessie McLaren, which contains a number of rare and valuable Korean books, particularly in the fields of history and literature. The oldest title dates from 1490.
Materials in the Korean Collection may be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room. Remote users may request material on interlibrary loan through their own library, or request photocopies of items through the Copies Direct service.