Fascinated by literature? Want to find out more about Australia and explore the rich and diverse literature of Oceania? Then this is the place to be!

Montage of book covers from Australasian literature online database
Some of the books featured in the Australasian Literature Online database

State Library Victoria members can access hundreds of databases from home (if your home is in Victoria). That’s millions of articles, magazines, archives, ebooks, videos, songs, audiobooks and more, available through the catalogue anytime. We’re taking a closer look at new and/or interesting databases as well as hidden gems from our collections. Read on for top picks and tips from Librarians.

Not a member yet? Sign up online first and reward your curiosity.

Today we’re looking at the Australasian Literature Online database.

What makes this database so great?

The Australasian Literature: Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands database brings together creative works from throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.

Starting in the 1930s and spanning up to the present, this database allows in-copyright fictional and poetry works to be cross-searchable for the first time. With 120,000 pages at completion, and enriched with interviews, Australasian Literature Online is an incomparable resource for researchers in the fields of literature, creative writing, post-colonial studies, immigration studies, social studies, anthropology and more.  

Search functions

You can browse this database by title, author, discipline, topic or publisher. You also have a comprehensive list of authors on the front page that you can scroll through, as well as a list of disciplines to select from.

Search functions available include an advanced search feature, which allows multiple terms to be searched in fields such as keyword, subject, genre, role, person discussed, work discussed and more.

Filters can also be applied to narrow down search results by facets such as publication date, publication title, language of edition and content type.

You can create a user profile within the database that enables you to save your searches and browse your search history.

When you select an item that you would like to read or browse later on, the database automatically creates a list that you can save, export or share.

The advanced search function


Australasian Literature Online brings strong Indigenous and female representation. In-copyright fictional and poetry works are paired with author interviews, documentaries, scholarly writings and other multimedia.

The database has over 200 fiction items, with works from a diverse array of publishers, including Maori-owned independent publisher, Huia; Mana: a South-Pacific Journal of Language and Literature, which is published in Fiji; and the University of Hawaii Press.

Closer to home, we find books such as Don’t Take Your Love to Town, written by Bundjalung author Ruby Langford Ginibi, which is a beautiful memoir about an Aboriginal woman’s struggle to raise nine children in a society divided by race:

We also have here a great selection of poetry from Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, with over 200 poems to browse and enjoy. You may like The Best Australian Poems 2009 which has a very good selection of poems.

We hope you enjoy exploring Australasian Literature Online.

We always welcome your recommendations for database trials – let us know what you’d like to see.  Have a research query or questions on how to use our online collections? Ask a librarian

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