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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
This exhibition showcases many of the rare, beautiful and historically significant books held in the Library's collections.
Located in the Dome Galleries overlooking the magnificent La Trobe Reading Room, this exhibition celebrates the unique place of books in our hearts and minds.
Mirror of the world provides an overview of the history of book production, design and illustration, with a display of fine examples from the Library's collections dating from the Middle Ages to the present day.
This free exhibition is open 10am–5pm daily.
This 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.
Located in the Dome Galleries overlooking the magnificent La Trobe Reading Room, items on regular display include key artefacts such as the last notes of Burke and Wills and Ned Kelly's armour.
This is a free exhibition, open daily 10am–5pm.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Library’s annual Creative Fellowships program. Reflecting its place as a hub for intellectual and cultural inquiry, the Library awards fellowships to those working in creative and scholarly spheres.
Over the past decade, fellowships have been awarded to artists, writers, composers and others engaged in cultural endeavours. All have created new ways of understanding and interpreting the Library’s unique collections.
This display in the dome dais (pulpit cases) of the La Trobe Reading Room presents a snapshot of publications by some of the recipients.
A creative decade is a free exhibition, open during Library hours.
Discover the cultural centrepiece of 19th-centuryMelbourneand the grand vision that inspired it. This free exhibition traces the first 60 years of the Melbourne Public Library (now the State Library of Victoria), from its founding in 1853 to the opening of the magnificent domed reading room in 1913.
The Library and the cultural institutions that shared its site – the museum, gallery and art schools – were established by a group of colonial liberals including judge Sir Redmond Barry and architect Joseph Reed. They aimed to create a civic centre that was secular, democratic and enlightened, offering free access to self-improvement through learning.
Free, secular and democratic tells the story of this grand vision and its legacy today. It examines the building’s architecture, including the beautiful Queen’s Hall and domed reading room, and reveals how the Library’s collection was developed. It also revisits the great Intercolonial Exhibition held at the Library site in 1866–67.
The exhibition is curated by Harriet Edquist, Professor of Architectural History at RMIT and Director of RMIT Design Archives, as part of the Library’s Dome Centenary celebrations.
Free, secular and democratic is a free exhibition, open daily 10am–5pm and until 9pm Thursdays.
This is one of many Dome Centenary events taking place in 2013, to celebrate our iconic dome and all that it enables.
Collect a brochure from the foyer and follow the map to take a self-guided tour through the Library. Discover images and stories about the building’s history and some of the key people who led the institutions located here.