State Library of Victoria

State Library of Victoria

The State Library of Victoria is Australia's oldest free public library and the first of Victoria's key cultural institutions.

Founded in 1854 when Victoria was barely 20 years old, the Library has continued to reflect the cultural and social development of the state and its people for 150 years.

It is the major reference and research library in Victoria, responsible for collecting and preserving Victoria's documentary heritage and making it available through a range of services and programs.

State Library Collections
The Library first opened in 1856 with a stock of 3846 books. Today it includes over two million books and serials, one of Australia's largest newspaper collections, hundreds of thousands of pictures, maps, manuscripts and artefacts, as well as materials in digital and multimedia formats.

Includes the visual and performing arts, music, magic, cinema, television, radio, photography, and recorded sound and video. There is a strong emphasis on Australian material, particularly in the Australian Art and Artists (AAA) collection of exhibition ephemera.

Australian Manuscripts
Includes original archival materials that reflect all aspects of Victorian life.

Encompasses materials that deal specifically in history, literature, culture, biography, travel and Aboriginal studies, with particular focus on Victoria.

Business & Statistics
Includes statistical publications, directories, databases and yearbooks, with emphasis on Australia.

Contains books, tournament reports, magazines and pamphlets. It is recognised as one of the three largest public chess collections in the world.

Children's Literature
Contains picture books, readers, anthologies, ephemera, and works of fiction including rare children's books, with an emphasis on Australian literature.

Information Databases
Includes multi-subject databases and subject specific databases. Access is via the Information Databases link from the catalogue.

Includes indexes to births, deaths & marriages, cemetery and immigration records, and electoral rolls and directories. The focus is on genealogical sources for Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Humanities and Social Sciences
Encompasses materials on psychology, sociology, religion, literature, economics, linguistics and history.

Law & Government publications
Includes parliamentary papers, legislative material and Hansards for all the states of Australia and the Commonwealth Government. Also government publications from the United Nations, United Kingdom, United States and the European Community.

Includes mainly Australian, and particularly Victorian maps and is also complemented by strong holdings of maps from overseas.

Includes a comprehensive collection of Victorian metropolitan, suburban and regional newspapers, as well as selected Australian and international titles.

Includes biographical, cultural, environmental, historical, sociological and topographical images relating to Victoria.

Rare Books
Comprises rare and valuable Australian and non-Australian books dating from the 17th century until the present day.

Science and Technology
Encompasses medicine, health, motoring manuals and periodicals, patents, standards and codes of practice, and environmental resources.

Sport & Recreation
Includes current and historical materials focusing on various sport and recreational activities pursued in Australia.

Founding the Library
The idea to build a world-class public library was generated by a small group of prominent men including Sir Redmond Barry, an Irish lawyer who arrived in Melbourne in 1839.

Our Vision 2020 redevelopment project is transforming your Library spaces and services. The State Library will remain open throughout the Vision 2020 redevelopment. However, from time-to-time there may be changes to services, collection access or programs.

Find out if any temporary closures of spaces may affect your visit.

❊ What's On ❊

Village Roadshow Theatrette

Statue : Charles La Trobe - Peter Corlett

Ned Kelly's Armour

Free Melbourne Walking Tour |

MIRROR: New views on photography

Rennie Ellis: Melbourne Out Loud - Friday 1 March 2024

Dome to Catacombs Tour | State Library - Tuesday 30 July 2024

❊ Address ❊

 ℅ Naarm
 ⊜  328 Swanston Street Melbourne 3000 View Map
 ✆ Telephone: +61 3 8664 7000
328 Swanston StreetMelbourneVictoria+61 3 8664 7000

❊ Web Links ❊

State Library of Victoria

❊ Also See.. ❊

Olympic Games Melbourne | State Library of Victoria

Cyclorama of Early Melbourne

Vicnet |

Village Roadshow Theatrette

Disclaimer: Check with the venue (web links) before making plans, travelling or buying tickets.

Accessibility: Contact the venue for accessibility information.

State Library Victoria acknowledges the traditional lands of all the Victorian Aboriginal clans, and their cultural practices and knowledge systems.

We recognise that our collections hold traditional cultural knowledge belonging to Indigenous communities in Victoria and around the country. We support communities to protect the integrity of this information, gathered from their Ancestors in the colonial period.

We pay our respects to their Elders, past and present, who have handed down these systems of practice to each new generation for millennia.

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State Library of Victoria