We want to be a catalyst for generating new knowledge and ideas, and a place where all Victorians can discover, learn, create and connect.Find out more about our strategic vision
Australia's first public library
Why was Australia's first public library known, somewhat formidably, as 'the Institution'?
Free, secular & democratic curator Harriet Edquist talks to Radio National's Julian Morrow about the State Librarys' position as the cultural centrepiece of 19th-century Melbourne. Referred to as the Institution because of the great cultural institutions which were housed within it for so long, the Library shared its site with the museum, the national gallery, a natural history museum, schools of painting and design, and the 1866 great Intercolonial exhibition.
Listen to this engaging 10-minute interview to learn about Joseph Reed's ambitious design for the building, the Library's open access and egalitarian membership policies (both radical at the time), and the role the Library played in training women for the workplace.