National Centre for Australian Children's Literature
The CBCA and the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature Inc (the "Centre") are delighted to have a formal partnership which will support our shared goal to promote and celebrate Australian creators of children’s books.
The Centre’s history and development
The Centre began as the Lu Rees Archives in 1974. Lu Rees, then President of the CBCA ACT Branch, proposed a national collection of Australian children’s books and files about the creators’ works. These would inspire teachers, librarians and caregivers who would share with children their enthusiasm and knowledge about children’s stories and their creators and so inspire a love of language, art and enhance literacy. The collection grew with publishers’ and creators’ support and moved to the University of Canberra in 1980 so it could develop further and inspire future teachers, librarians and the general community. Over 19 years, the CBCA provided funds for part-time staff to support and grow the Centre, so our two organisations have been collaborators for many years. The Centre and the CBCA continue its relationship through the national Children’s Book Week artwork being housed, documented and made available to the public from the Centre.
The Centre today is valued at over $12.8 million. An external expert describes the collection as unique and significant. It exists as an independent not-for-profit, tax exempt charity with a Board incorporated in the ACT. Since 1981 children's books have been routinely donated by Australian publishers and many creators. The archives Centre contains over 58,000 books with 5,800 of these in 80 languages, 2 publishers archives, 80 collections of authors’ papers and manuscripts, and illustrators’ artworks, as well as audio, photographs, realia and rare material. More than 80 Cultural Gifts have been donated under the Australian Government’s Office for the Arts. Approximately 30,000 people joined our outreach activities over the past five years through onsite visits and online virtual experiences.
The National Centre for Australian Children's Literature aims to be a dynamic and exciting place where young people discover words and images, where authors and illustrators share ideas, where researchers explore questions and where all ages are immersed in creative experiences.
Dr Belle Alderman AM
Centre for Australian Children’s Literature Inc.
Free online resources available from the Centre’s website.
The National Centre for Australian Children's Literature has a number of rich databases and resources readily available for use from the Centre's website: ncacl.org.au.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resource
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resource aims to celebrate and promote children’s books by and/or about Australia’s Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, including books in indigenous languages. This free and comprehensive online database provides insights into over 600 books written by and/or about Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples and created for young people of all ages. Also included are annotations, subjects, teaching resources and Australian curriculum links.
Cultural diversity database
A collection of children's books which feature Australia's culturally diverse population. Its focus is on understanding the similarities and differences between cultures using children's literature. Over 400 books are included in this database.
Picture books for older readers database
The Picture books for older readers database includes an annotation, subjects, teaching resources and Australian curriculum links for over 270 Australian books for young people.
Australian children’s authors and illustrators included employ a wide range of literary and artistic styles and display a great sensitivity and depth of understanding in dealing with difficult topics. These books are generally suitable for young people from Year 5 through secondary school.
The flyer Picture books for older readers provides additional background information on the purpose of the PBOR database, its contents and the development team.