Chess collection


This guide will help you navigate a range of chess resources in the Library. With over 13000 volumes, the MV Anderson Chess Collection is the largest chess collection in the Southern Hemisphere. Our chess resources include books on strategy, chess in film and art, novels featuring chess, the history of chess and overviews of openings such as the Sicilian Dragon, Complete Hedgehog and more.

The collection is recognised by the Oxford Companion to Chess (1992) as one of the three largest public chess collections in the world, the other two being the J.G. White Collection in the Cleveland Public Library and the Van der Linde-Niemeijer Collection in the National Library of the Netherlands.

Chess at the State Library


The Chess boards and the open access Chess and Bridge book collections are located on the mezzanine level of The Ian Potter Queen's Hall.

Note this area closes at 5:00pm each day. 

Chess in La Trobe Reading Room

Accessing chess books

Open access Chess and Bridge books are located on the mezzanine of The Ian Potter Queen's Hall. Note that this area closes at 5:00pm each day.

If you locate books on our catalogue from the Chess Collection and see a message that reads Available Find on shelf in The Ian Potter Queen's Hall mezzanine, then you can access them at the displayed call number.

Chess open access message

If the catalogue record asks you to phone 03 8664 7002 for delivery, then the request needs to be placed by Library staff.


Staff can place orders for the next available delivery time.


Chess on the forecourt

The Library has two large chess outdoor chess sets that are set up on decal boards outside the library on the forecourt from 10am to 5pm. Chess on the forecourt was established in Summer 2014 to provide our users with an alternative space, and to engage new players.

From the Rare Collection

Other chess collections

J.G. White Chess and Checkers Collection - Cleveland Public Library

The John G. White Chess Collection is the largest chess collection in the world. The collection includes over 32,000 titles of both historical and modern chess literature.

Van der Linde-Niemeijer Collection - National Library of the Netherlands

The Chess and Draughts Collection at the Royal Library includes over 30,000 titles. The collection includes manuscripts, rare books and recent publications.