The Brotherhood of St Laurence research collection began as early as 1943, when the first social research officer was employed to investigate the causes of poverty and assist in the development of policy documents. The library has operated as a research library since the 1974 and holds a significant collection of Australian social welfare material.
Major topics within the library collection include poverty and social inclusion, employment and unemployment, labour market programs, income support and social security, housing and homelessness.
As well as having an active research collection, the Library holds a considerable amount of historical and archival material that traces the history of the Brotherhood and its research and service initiatives, as well as some histories of inner city Melbourne, particularly Fitzroy. Library staff are progressively building the online timeline of the organisation.
The library catalogue, accessible via the internet, includes not only books but also key journal articles and selected websites.
BroCAP – Brotherhood Comunity Awareness Portal
Our librarians monitor over 200 information sources from government departments, academic institutions, think tanks, research organisations, not-for-profits and other authoritative sources. All the relevant articles we find are posted on BroCAP, our current awareness portal. While our focus is on Australian information, we also include overseas material.
We track email alerts, newsletters, RSS feeds, academic journals, social networking services and more. BroCAP also contains links to the library catalogue, timeline, images, research reports and Brotherhood publications.
Library staff can assist you with using the collection and library catalogues to research social welfare topics, ranging from poverty, housing, employment and unemployment to tax reform, income support and the not-for-profit sector.
If you are not able to visit the library in person, we may be able to assist you remotely. Please call us to discuss your requirements, or send us an email.
You may be able to borrow some library resources using the inter-library loan system. This can be arranged through your local public library, or if you are a student, your university or TAFE library.
Not all material is available for loan. Much of what we hold is unique to Australia and quite rare, so this material has to be used within the library.
Photocopying facilities are available, at a cost of 20c per A4 page.
Your copying, printing and downloading must comply with general copyright and licence restrictions. Library staff can give you further information about this.
Accessing the library
The Library is open to the public by appointment. Please contact us to arrange a suitable time. Library hours are Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm (closed public holidays).
Brotherhood library catalogue
A comprehensive searchable database of all the reports, books and articles held in the Brotherhood library
Brotherhood research publications database
A searchable database of Brotherhood research reports from 2002, with electronic links and prices for printed copies.
Brotherhood of St Laurence Library
67 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy Vic. 3065
Phone: (03) 9483 1103