Special collections

The library manages a range of archives and special collections of materials related to the history of ACER and to educational research and measurement.

ACER archives 

The ACER archives include administrative, correspondence and research records of the Australian Council for Educational Research since its establishment in 1930, as well as the extensive archive of the Australian College of Educators (formerly Australian College of Education) from 1959. 

Access to these archives is available to bona fide researchers. Email details of your request to library@acer.org and library staff can coordinate the relevant permissions and access. 

Connell collection 

Formerly the private collection of Emeritus Professor William Fraser Connell and his wife, Margaret Connell, the Connell collection has over 6000 items focusing on teaching and learning in their historical, comparative, socio-cultural, institutional, personal and interpersonal settings. In addition to its core focus on education, the collection also covers the key subject fields of sociology, history, psychology and psychometric testing within Australia and internationally. 

The W.F. and M.L. Connell Collection was opened on 28 May 2010 with speeches by William and Margaret Connell’s children, Helen, Raewyn and Patricia, themselves esteemed academics in the fields of education, sociology and biology respectively. 

William Connell had many links with ACER throughout his career and wrote the history of the first 50 years of ACER, The Australian Council for Educational Research 1930-1980

The collection was catalogued in 2006 and the holdings are available via the Libraries Australia database. 

Browse the Connell collection catalogue

Keeves collection 

Professor John P. Keeves was director of ACER from 1977-1984. He died on 1 April 2020, ACER’s 90th birthday. His personal library of books and papers were bequeathed to ACER. The Keeves collection includes 1500 books plus an extensive set of unpublished papers covering subjects including the impact of social factors on education, achievement studies, and large-scale international comparative studies. 

Researchers can use a filter on the ACER catalogue to browse these resources, or discover them via a search in the National Library of Australia’s Trove service. Items of interest can be requested from the library or consulted in person at the ACER Adelaide office, where there is also a significant collection of unpublished papers that could form the basis of a rewarding project for a researcher interested in educational measurement.  

The Keeves Collection was officially opened remotely by Professor Geoff Masters AO on 9 November 2021. 

Browse the Keeves collection catalogue

Test collection 

ACER has a collection of tests which include psychological, vocational and other assessment instruments. The physical test collection includes tests published by ACER and by outside organisations. This is a restricted collection with access dependent on legal, commercial and qualifications requirements. An individual may make a case to view specific test items and library staff will coordinate permissions required. 

Browse the Test collection catalogue