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State Library Victoria


Established in 1854 and spanning an entire city block, State Library Victoria is Australia’s oldest public library and one of the first free public libraries in the world. Housing a combination of contemporary and historic spaces, the Library is brought together by 23 architecturally-designed buildings.

The library is known for its collection which began at 3,846 volumes and, over the past 163 years, has amounted to more than five million items, including books, manuscripts, serials, photographs, artworks, maps, ephemera, and more.

The library is constantly evolving, with an ambitious digitisation program showcasing the vastly growing collection, as well as events and exhibitions that reach new audiences every day.

What's On

Discover the architectural evolution of Australia’s oldest public library with a captivating, behind-the-scenes tour. Journey through scenes from the modern Vision 2020 redevelopment to the depths of the catacombs. Highlights include library gems like Elephant Lift, Pendulum Staircase and the Card Catalogue room.

Images: (1) La Trobe Reading Room. (2) Russell Street Entrance. (3) Old card storage cabinets in the Catacombs. (4) Facade of State Library Victoria building. Images supplied.

Important Details

Time & Date

Saturday 30 + Sunday 31 July
Tours run 10.15am, 11.15am, 12:15pm, 2.15pm, 3.15pm & 4.15pm
Running for 40 minutes in groups of 10 people.
Bookings required.

Age Requirements

12 years and above


Partially wheelchair accessible


328 Swanston Street, Melbourne 3000

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