Tom Keneally Centre

The SMSA is proud to be the home of the Tom Keneally Centre.

Come and visit; it’s a perfect place to do some research or just enjoy some peace and quiet.

Opening Hours

Tuesdays and Thursdays
from 10:30am – 2:30pm.

Tom Keneally Centre at Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts

Tom Keneally wearing a hat in the Tom Keneally Centre

Thomas Keneally - About the man

Booker Prize winner Thomas Keneally is one of Australia's best known and most respected authors.
Tom Keneally Centre

About the Tom Keneally Centre

The Tom Keneally Centre holds the research collection of world-renowned author Thomas Keneally, in addition to copies of his own works and some items from his private collection of photographs and memorabilia.
Frank Moorhouse (left) with Tom Keneally in the Tom Keneally Centre

Tom Keneally Centre - A Cultural Hub

A cultural hub, the Tom Keneally Centre is devoted to Australian literature and history, reflecting the synergy between the SMSA and Tom Keneally's approach to writing and to life; open access to knowledge, continued learning and social change.
Borrow from the Tom Keneally Centre

Borrow books from the Tom Keneally Centre

SMSA is pleased to announce that members can now borrow books from the Tom Keneally Centre collection, in addition to the main SMSA Library.

Events in the Tom Keneally Centre

Tom Keneally Centre, books and Tom Keneally

Tom Keneally Centre open day — Drop in!

Visit the Tom Keneally Centre, the living legacy of award-winning author Thomas Keneally, described by sydney(magazine) as one of the top 20 most peaceful places in Sydney.
Ross McMullin Pompey Elliott

Ross McMullin — Pompey Elliott

Ross McMullin talks about the charismatic, courageous and controversial Pompey Elliott. No Australian general was more revered by those he led or more famous outside his own command.

Tom Keneally News

1 Jan 2015 — Have you renewed your Membership? Grace period ends 31 Jan

Have you renewed your membership?

  • All annual memberships expired at the end of 2014. 
  • A Grace Period is in place until 31 January 2015.

Act now and renew before the Grace Period ends on 31 January to ensure there are no gaps in your borrowing and membership rights.

Our rates remain the same and there are loads of membership benefits:

download the Membership Form*

* WEA Members: Download the WEA Library Services Form

Great Value!

$15 – Ordinary membership
$10 – Concession membership
$10 – Readers (students only – no voting rights)

How to join

Just come into the Library at Level 2, 280 Pitt Street with ID showing your current address to join and borrow immediately.


If you can’t make it into the Library, just get a JP to sign your form to verify your ID and address and mail your form in with a cheque. (NB: you can often find a JP at your local council, post office, police station, chemists or financial institution).

Memberships are annual and are due for renewal by 31 December each year.

Acceptable forms of ID are a driver’s licence, utility bill, electoral registration or concession card.

19 Dec 2014 — Tom Keneally Centre Opening Hours for 2015

The Tom Keneally Centre will re-open over the extended holiday period as follows:

Friday, 28th November 2014

Tuesday 3rd Feb 2015

The Tom Keneally Centre will be open on Fridays on a trial basis starting February 2015. Members can now borrow from the Tom Keneally Centre.

OPEN Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays
from 10:30am to 2:30pm.

Please contact Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts at if you have any questions or if you would like to arrange special access.

See you in 2014!

1 Dec 2014 — Library Christmas Hours, Upgrade & Temporary Relocation

After the normal Library closure over the Christmas period, we will be commencing a Library refresh, replacing the carpet and freshly painting the walls, etc.

During this period, the Library will temporarily relocate to the Tom Keneally Centre on Level 3, which open for normal Library hours from 5 January until the Level 2 Library reopens.

We know you are all voracious readers and can’t do without your holiday reading, so for the Christmas period and until the Library re-opens on Level 2, you will be able to borrow:

  1. double the normal amount of normal library books;
  2. new books for 3 weeks instead of the normal 2 weeks;
  3. from the Tom Keneally Centre collection; and
  4. eBooks, Audiobooks and eMagazines on your PC, iPad, Tablet or (for ebooks only) e-reader 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

The main Library collection will be unavailable during the temporary relocation and upgrade period, however:

  1. New Books releases will be available for loan in the Tom Keneally Centre;
  2. Members may borrow from the Tom Keneally Centre collection; and
  3. eBooks, Audiobooks and eMagazines may be borrowed on your PC, iPad, Tablet or (for ebooks only) e-reader 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

The Library will reopen on Level 2 in mid to late January.



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