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.

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.

Designed by celebrated colonial architect Joseph Reed, the Library has been an architectural landmark for almost 150 years. Find out more about the much-loved domed reading room built in 1913, and the massive redevelopment project which is transforming a 19th-century institution into a 21st-century information powerhouse.

Photos of State Library Victoria Collections (2)

  • View of Jolimont, Melbourne by Liz Pidgeon
  • Ned Kelly's gun-002 by Julian Wigley
  • Ned Kelly's gun-001 by Julian Wigley

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March 2011
Melbourne, Australia
State Library of Victoria