Discover why people are so passionate about this iconic Library space.
Read some of our 100+ memories, anecdotes and interviews...Explore our dome stories
The State Library of Victoria invites you to celebrate the centenary of its iconic dome
Since 1913 the Library's domed reading room has been the symbolic heart of our great institution. Celebrate the scholarship, creativity and learning this architectural icon has inspired for generations of Victorians. Learn more
While I was an Arts student at Melbourne University in the late 1970s to early 80s, the Domed Reading Room was for me such a place of sanctuary and peace in the city.
I'd never seen a library like it - beginning with the wide marble stairs...Read more
This story was an impression of the Dome by 14 year old Melbourne High School student John Miller, published in the MHS magazine Unicorn in July 1945:
"All is still and quiet, save for the rustling of pages, and the occasional...Read more
As a Design student in the 1970's, I haunted the Library doing research on Patents and drove the staff so mad they lead me up into the stacks to roam free. Heaven on Earth! Some years later, as a member of the Melbourne Welsh Male Voice Choir, I had...Read more
My first library job was as a trainee library technician at the State Library. This was in 1977. As a trainee I was on the bottom of the totem pole, and one of my jobs was to find books in the stacks that surrounded the reading room. This was back...Read more
A while back I visited the State Library during a school excursion with an excitable bunch of 11 and 12 year olds. My fellow teachers and I were a tad anxious as to whether these youngsters would exhibit appropriate behaviour in such a hallowed place....Read more
Under the majestic dome
The world stops
As quiet strangers sit
Lost in glorious ideas
Drawn into magic storiesRead more
I visited the State Library a few days ago. I remember my dad had taken me to see the library and the dome when I was only two or three. What I remember was an escher-esque maze of books, shelves and staircases that seemed to fill the whole world....Read more
My grandmother tried to entice me into the State Library in the 1950's, but as a child all I wanted to see at the Museum/Library precinct was Phar Lap.
I didn't enter the magnificent domed reading room until about 1968. Awe-struck by the size of...Read more
We were young, enthusiastic and so wanting to pass our matriculation. Where better to study every Saturday but the Public Library. My goodness my friend and I felt more intelligent by just walking up the steps, then by entering the reading room under...Read more
Construction of the great Dome commenced in 1909 and my great grandfather, John Richard Thorpe Clark, was the foreman-in-charge. At the time, it was the largest reinforced concrete dome in the world.
When I visit the city with my 5-year-old...Read more
In 1952/53 when working in the US Information Library- housed temporarily on the ground floor in the previous Newspaper Room- I, with colleagues would frequently go up to the passage surrounding the outside of the roof of the dome, to sunbake- lying on...Read more
I’m a year 12 student at University High. I come and study at the dome as I really like quiet places and this is so much quieter than other places at the Library. A friend first brought me here as she thinks it’s a great place too. You can feel the...Read more
We had to come in to town in the morning for work, and then we had the rest of the day off. We’re homeschoolers and we live in Druin, so we thought we’d take advantage of the day and bring everyone down.
The kids have been studying architecture...Read more
I first went to the Reading Room in 1969, when I was a first year university student. I was looking for books tangential to my studies in literature and sociology, I was looking for inspiring art histories and folios.
When I started work in...Read more
My first experience of the State Library and the magnificent domed reading room was as a young child when I came to visit the Museum. I can remember feeling completely awed by the size of the room, and the eerie glow from the green reading lights...Read more