The Brotherhood of St Laurence library provides an excellent social research and policy resource for the wider community sector, researchers, students and the general public.

One of the few services of its type in Australia, the Brotherhood's Social Policy Library has operated since 1943, supporting the organisation's research and service initiatives as they have developed over time.

The online services delivered by our professional librarians include:

  • a current awareness service, Source, with links to the latest material from more than 500 sources
  • a searchable catalogue of some 13,000 items in our reference collection, including many electronic resources and Brotherhood publications
  • a developing history hub, including a timeline of the Brotherhood of St Laurence and digitised historical records.

Our in-house services include:

  • a reference library in Fitzroy, open to the public on weekdays by appointment
  • advice on accessing the collection.

You may be able to borrow some resources by inter-library loan. This can be arranged through your local public library, or if you are a student, your university or TAFE library.

The Library also holds a rich historical collection, including photos, letters, diaries, newsletters and artefacts which provide a fascinating window into the fight against poverty in Fitzroy and inner city Melbourne since the 1940s.

View the Brotherhood of St Laurence timeline »


Source is our current awareness service, a website designed to keep readers up to date with the latest information on topics ranging from poverty and unemployment to energy and climate change.

» Visit Source

Library catalogue

The library catalogue provides access to our extensive collection of social policy materials.Many reports are accessible online.  Visit our online catalogue »

History hub

We are in the process of digitising our wonderful collection of historical photographs, letters, newsletters and other materials. They will ultimately be available online. 

Contact us

The Library is open to the public by appointment. Please contact us to arrange a suitable time. Library hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (closed public holidays).

Brotherhood of St Laurence Social Policy Library
67 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy, Victoria 3065
Phone: (03) 9483 1103
Email: library(at)
Twitter: @bsl_library

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Australian Aboriginal flag, a yellow circle on two horizontal black and red stripes

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Torres Strait Islander flag, an icon of a traditional headdress on blue, black and green stripes