State Library of Victoria

You don't have to be a 'bookish' nerd to visit the State Library of Victoria. Its awe inspiring architecture is enough to keep you coming back for more. This majestic old building opened in 1856 and is now home to over 2 million books, 16,000 serials, the diaries of our city's founders, maps and various exhibitions and events to name a few. You can even view Ned Kelly's original armour here.

The stunning domed reading room (pictured above) is a must first stop for all visitors. It can be a little tricky to find so follow the signs. To fully experience the room, enter and stop just inside the doorway where your eyes can take in the sheer grandeur from floor to bright domed ceiling. For a better view take the elevator to the dome galleries on level 3 and you will experience the view of the entire room from above. Take note of the colour matched books lining the shelves on the gallery walls.

Exhibitions are a regular thing at the State Library. If cooking is your passion stop by Gusto! A Culinary History of Victoria exhibition on until 28 April 2013. The Mirror of the World exhibition tells the history of book production, design and illustration, and includes a display of books dating from the Middle Ages to the present day. From January 1 to December 31, 2013 The Changing Face of Victoria exhibition brings together historical artefacts, photographs, drawings, maps, letters and diaries to tell the stories of the people, places and events that have shaped life in Victoria over the past 200 years.

There is lots to see and do at the library. See as little or as much of it as you want as everything here is free, including exhibitions. Grab a bite to eat at the cafe or visit nearby QV or Melbourne Central for lunch and some shopping.


Monday to Thursday: 10am–9pm
Friday to Sunday: 10am–6pm
Closed some public holidays

How to get there
328 Swanston Street, Melbourne 3000

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Image: © Suzanne Trew


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