ASF Home Library of the Australian Speleological Federation Inc.

The ASF Library collection is divided into a number of specific collections. The list below describes what they are, how they came to be, and how to access them. As the catalogue develops we will link specific catalogue searches to the items below - in the catalogue, you can use the "Collections" tab on the Advanced Search to access specific collections.

ASF Archives

The ASF Archives are a record of the administrative history of the Federation (meeting minutes, statutory documents annd the like), as well as ASF publications in both final and sometimes draft form. Many of these records have been digitised, but there remains a large amount of material that is only to be found on paper. Please contact the Librarian if you need to access these records.

Club Journals

The ASF is a federation of member organisations, the majority of which all have their own publications. These 'clubs' are usually responsible for the backbone of exploration, science and adventure in Australia and overseas, and their journals are a valuable documentary and scientific resource. The ASF Library is endeavouring to digitise all the club publications past and present so that this information can be preserved and accessed. All the clubs have different access conditions and retain copyright over their own publications - as the material is catalogued it will be uploaded for access according to those conditions. (Access via the "SOC & ASF PUBS" tab)

ASF Biennial Conferences

Every two years (or so), the ASF holds an official conference to discuss all aspects of caves and caving. The ASF publishes the Proceedings of each of these conferences and collects everything else associated with these, such as field guides and memorabilia. As much as is possible, the Library records collate these items for each conference.  (Access via the "SOC & ASF PUBS" tab)

Plans of Management

Caves tend to be 'managed' in one way or another - and most government departments (for the most part) have set out plans to do this. Being government departments, there has been a substantial amount of paper produced over the years, along with numerous updates and reissues. For the moment, a google search might serve you well as many of the aforesaid government departments are now making this material available online. We are still cataloguing the historical material.

Personal Donations

Over the years, the ASF Library has received donations and bequests - all of which we are extremely grateful for. Some of this material is unique and irreplaceable. We have a special collection from the late Elery Hamilton-Smith, a remarkable man who made an incredible contribution to speleology, conservation and environmental management. Many more publications and notes have come from the estate of John Dunkley, another doyen of Australian caving. We have also received material from Andy Spate (still alive and kicking), from Bruce Cooke, from adventurer extrordinaire Lloyd Robinson, and from the late Les Hall, one of the scientific heroes of bat studies in this country.

All material recieved is valued and we encourage all members of the caving community to send copies of their notes, photos and memorabilia to the library to become part of the stock of knowledge of caves and caving history in Australia.

Map Collection

The map collection covers topographical, geological, general tourist maps and specific cave maps. Geological maps are usually available online from state geoscience departments, and current topographic maps can often be accessed online, but there are some historical maps not currently accessible that we may hold - please contact the librarian if you need something you can't find.

Main Collection

The Main Collection includes books, journals, journal aritcles and caving memorabilia (postcards, stickers etc). The bulk of our book collection has been catalogued and is searchable, but everything else is - sadly - taking a little more time.

Should you have a question about any of these collections, or have material to contribute, please contact the Librarian at

Go to the Australian Speleological Federation Inc.homepage