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

Visit the Tom Keneally Centre

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.

Claire Scobie — The Pagoda Tree

Meet award-winning journalist and writer Claire Scobie in the Tom Keneally Centre, talking about her novel The Pagoda Tree, India and her inspirations.
Poems for Christmas Time 2013

Poems for Christmas Time

Christmas has always inspired the poets. And so we invite you to celebrate the season with the Poetry at SMSA group.

Tom Keneally News

12 Nov 2014 — Gift Certificates now available!

Is it too early to think about Christmas? We don’t think so!

Present your friends and family Membership Gift Certificates and share your love of SMSA.

Ask our Librarians
about Gift Certificates

The joy of giving

With an SMSA Gift Certificate, you can now give the gift of 1000s of books – whether they are books, ebooks, magazines, emagazines, or audiobooks! PLUS your friends or family will also be able to attend all of our fantastic events held here at the SMSA.

For just $15 they can have all this – and LOVE you forever.

Remember young, old, mums, dads, work mates, neighbours— anyone (over the age of 18) can join.


7 Nov 2014 — It’s time to renew your membership!

Members, All SMSA annual memberships expire on 31 December.

Beat the end of year rush —
renew now at the Library!


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.

25 Sep 2014 — Even more benefits for members in 2015!

Are you aware of the recent additions to our already fabulous membership benefits?

We’re excited to be able to offer members even more benefits in 2015. You can read a summary of the new additions below.

Or find out about ALL the benefits of membership today.

Discover ALL the benefits of SMSA membership today.


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17 Sep 2014 — Jennifer Byrne talks to Tom Keneally

Jennifer Byrne recently spoke to one of Australia’s most prolific writers Tom Keneally as he celebrates 50 years in print. The interview which aired on ABC’s Jennifer Byrnes Presents program on 16 September, traverses his many successes as well as some of the criticisms he’s faced over the decades.

The program is available to be watched on ABC’s iView until 11:00pm on 16 October 2014

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26 Aug 2014 — Hear Tom Keneally’s 50th Anniversary Lecture on Radio National

If you missed Tom Keneally’s 50th Anniversary Lecture at SMSA, it can now be heard on Radio National’s Big Ideas program, as follows:

Today – Tuesday 26 August at 8pm

Replay – Wednesday 27 August at 3am

Online replay or download


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