Delve into Melbourne’s fascinating heritage when you explore this cultural landmark and architectural treasure, containing over 150 years of state history.
The State Library of Victoria is a grand 19th-century building that houses the state’s most significant resource and reference collection. Discover the magnificent displays and exhibitions adoring the walls of the ornate Victorian-era library and learn about the state’s rich heritage and fascinating treasures. See the armor of the infamous bushranger Ned Kelly and see intriguing historical documents, archives and artworks.
As you approach the State Library of Victoria, take a moment to admire its stunning neoclassical design. Founded in 1854, the library’s grand architecture reflects its prominence as a hub for learning, socializing and relaxing. The library’s grand portico is fronted by a spacious paved square, green lawns and bronze statues. Enter the library and make your way to the La Trobe Reading Room. This elegant central room is one of the library’s highlights and has a domed ceiling that fills the spacious interior with natural light.
Be sure to check out the library’s permanent exhibitions, which include a display of early Victorian artifacts and the iconic metal helmet of the bushranger and outlaw Ned Kelly. The Mirror of the World exhibition follows the history of the book throughout the ages.
Peruse the library’s enormous collection of books, photographs, newspapers, documents and maps or see what you can find in the audio, visual and digital databases held by the library. There are also several galleries that show rotating collections of artworks and archives. Check out the Keith Murdoch Gallery, the Cowen Gallery and the Dome Galleries or see a curated selection of media on the Experimedia wall.
Inquire about the program of events, talks, lectures, workshops and tours held regularly within the library. If the sun is shining, make the most of the library’s gently sloping lawns and recline with a good book. The library steps remain a key civic destination for locals to meet, celebrate and protest.
The State Library of Victoria is located in Melbourne’s city center and is free to visit. Most tours and events are free, but booking is required. The library is open daily, except for Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Reach the library by public transportation or park in one of the nearby parking lots.