From 1973 to 1996, a substantial collection of material about the Sydney Opera House, and the performing arts more generally, formed the Opera House’s Dennis Wolanski Library of the Performing Arts, established through Dennis Wolanski’s generosity and vision to serve the Opera House, the performing arts industry, students, and the broader community. The library and its staff also played significant roles in the development of corporate information systems, collection management, and a number of multimedia projects at the Opera House.
In 1997, the Library closed and a large proportion of the collection is now held by the Opera House’s cultural partners, the specialist collecting institutions of the State Library of NSW and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, as well as UNSW Sydney’s university library, Arts Centre Melbourne's Performing Arts Collection, the Seaborn, Broughton and Walford Foundation and a number of other institutions. The Opera House also retains materials from the collection which, with additional material acquired from other sources, is now known as the Sydney Opera House Wolanski Collection.
In 1998, Phillip Wolanski AM, in partnership with Paul Bentley, the Library’s manager 1973-1997, established The Wolanski Foundation to provide information on the materials previously held by the Library and to assist in providing access to this material.