Welcome to Jessie Street National Women’s Library

“To keep women’s words, women’s works alive and powerful”

— Ursula K Le Guin

Please note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.

Jessie Street National Women’s Library is a unique specialist library dedicated to the preservation of Australian women’s work, words and history. The Library was established in 1989 and is named after Jessie Street, a lifelong campaigner for women’s rights, the peace movement and the elimination of discrimination against Aboriginal people.

The Library’s charter is to collect, preserve and promote knowledge and understanding of the cultural heritage of all women; social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; international friendship and peace. Patrons are The Hon Elizabeth Evatt AC, The Right Hon Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney, The Hon Quentin Bryce AD CVO and Professor Emerita Elizabeth Webby AM.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide for the Australian community a specialist library which collects, preserves and promotes the awareness of the cultural heritage of Australian women, facilitating learning, research and communication.

Our Aims

  • To collect the published and unpublished materials which document the lives and experience of women of all ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds and of all socio-economic classes.
  • To ensure that documents relating to Australian women’s lives and activities are preserved and made accessible.
  • To highlight the contribution of Australian women to this country’s development.
  • To support the field of women’s history.


Our next lunch hour talk is on 15 August. Dr Sue Taffe, historian, is an expert on Mary Montgomerie Bennett and was interviewed for Letters From The Desert, a documentary about Mary’s life and her work for Indigenous Australians in the early 20th Century. For more information go to https://www.nationalwomenslibrary.org.au/participate/lunch-hour-talks/

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Deborah Cheetham AO

Deborah Cheetham AO

Places are filling up fast for the Library’s Annual Luncheon on Monday 16 September. Don’t miss out. Deborah Cheetham AO, Yorta Yorta woman and acclaimed opera singer, is the guest speaker. Her topic is ‘Woven Song, the journey from knowing to understanding’. It will be a great day.

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