The Lu Rees Archives is a comprehensive collection of books and other resources about authors, illustrators, publishers and their creative works. The collection includes over 20,000 books, with 2400 of these in overseas translations in 53 languages, over 390 research files, and significant collections of authors', illustrators' and publishers' papers, manuscripts and artwork.
The mission of the Archives is to enhance the appreciation of Australian children's literature by collecting, preserving and making available wide-ranging resources. Lu Rees, the founding President of the ACT Branch of The Children's Book Council of Australia proposed in 1974 that there should be a collection of research files about Australian children's authors and illustrators together with a collection of their books. In 1980 this collection was deposited at the University of Canberra Library so it could be publicly available with the ACT Branch continuing as owners and managers. The Archives is supported by the National Executive of The Children's Book Council of Australia, which generously funds the Archives' part-time staffing. The ACT Branch provides a small donation annually and volunteer support. The University of Canberra Library houses the collection, catalogues the books, and provides materials to support the collection. Australian publishers donate their children's books as they are published.
An independent expert assessed the significance of the Lu Rees Archives in 2012 commenting that the Archives':
- collection has historic and research significance particularly from 1960
- translations are among the strongest in the country
- research files on authors and illustrators are invaluable
- papers, manuscripts and artworks include some of Australia's most important authors and illustrators
- exceptional diversity is a particular strength with its collections of books, manuscripts, artwork, papers of authors, illustrators and publishers, newspaper articles, reviews, photographs, audio material, publicity material and other printed ephemera, journals and theses, which cover the period from 1960