The State Library of South Australia has one of the best shipping and maritime history collections in Australia.   It includes books, periodicals, newspapers, shipping registers and several substantial pictorial collections.

Shipping enthusiasts and maritime historians will find many of these resources very useful, as will the family historian looking for information or an illustration of a particular ship.

The Paul McGuire Maritime Library is a significant part of the State library’s excellent shipping collections.   It contains approximately 6,000 books and is added to at approximately 200 books a year.

Much of the collection is shelved together and ideally suited for browsing.   All items are catalogued and able to be accessed via the State Library’s catalogue.

The Paul McGuire Maritime Library includes the Thomas Walter Hardy America's Cup Collection which was launched by Sir James Hardy OBE and the Walker Collection in memory of Commander Jefferson H. Walker D.S.O., R.A.N.

The Friends of the Paul McGuire Maritime Library was established in 1981 to support both the Paul McGuire Maritime Library and the State Library, and does so through a bi-monthly lecture program, its newsletter the Traverse Board and through the purchase of special books.

A permanent exhibition Wooden Walls and Iron Sides sponsored by the Friends highlights the breadth of our shipping collections and especially tells the story of shipping in South Australia.

The Paul McGuire Maritime Library's benefactor, Mrs Francis Margaret McGuire recognised the need for a comprehensive collection of books on maritime matters after seeing the collections in the USA, in particular Yale University.

In 1980 she made a sizable donation to the State Library following her husband Paul's death in 1978, and another shortly before her own death in 1995.

Mrs Margaret McGuire reflects on creating the collection here.

Photograph: Shipping at Port Adelaide, 1879 taken from the Edwardes Collection volume 38, number 33.

For more information about the collection please contact:
Telephone: 08 8207 7250
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Visit: State Library Website