Over the years The Friends have:
- raised more than $250 000 through annual donations and other activities.
- enabled the purchase of over five hundred substantial items, from four hundred year old books to reprinted runs of scientific journals;
- bought, or contributed to the purchase of some fourteen thematic collections including the Stewart, Berckelman, Cross, Monner, Chadwick and Hince collections;
Sydney from Harbour, 1897
- contributed to the purchase of important Australian manuscript collections including Gilmore, Lawson, Norman Lindsay and Douglas Stewart;
- in 1983, presented the Library's three millionth volume, a 1786 edition of Gli amori pastorali di Dafni e di Cloe. The work has a provenance from Giovanni Battista Bodoni (1786) through to Walter Stone the noted Australian collector and Friend of the Library;
- continued to support the Australian Private Press purchasing program;
- provided funds to conserve and maintain in good condition precious items in the Rare Book collections;
- initiated a sponsorship program for the digital conversion of significant Australian historical texts in history and the sciences;
- given over 20,000 of their own books to the Library, to help fill gaps, to help swell collections of material on specialised topics;
- arranged regular talks - often illustrated - film showings, outside visits, book auctions, dinners and excursions for Friends and their friends;
- Most recently they contributed to the purchase of limited high quality facsimile editions of The Book of Kells and The Lindisfarne Gospels.