The State Library of Victoria is the major reference and research library in Victoria. It opened in 1856 and is one of Australia's oldest cultural institutions. The library building is one of Melbourne's most distinctive landmarks.

As Victoria's major public reference and research library it is responsible for collecting and preserving Victoria's documentary heritage, and making it available through a range of services, exhibitions and public programs.

The Library comprises 17 buildings covering an entire city block, an area of approximately seven acres. In 1990 an extensive building redevelopment program began which has seen the refurbishment of the Library's magnificent heritage architectural features, such as the Domed Reading Room. The Library maintains strong links with the statewide public library network and is an active member of peak industry bodies, including the Council of Australian State Libraries and the Australian Library and Information Industry Association.

Our collection

State Library of Victoria Collection (1856)

"This Victorian State Collection is managed by the State Library of Victoria (SLV), one of Australia's oldest cultural institutions and the library building is one of Melbourne's most distinctive landmarks. The collections include over two million books and serials, hundreds of thousands of pictures, one of Australia's largest newspaper collections, maps and manuscripts, letters and diaries, ephemera, music scores and sheet music, realia, zines, comics and graphic novels e-resources, and large holdings of audio, video and digital material ? all reflecting the culture of Victoria over the past 150 years. Collection strengths include: Architecture, art, Australian history, British colonial history, business and industry, children?s books, family history, film and performing arts, government and law, history of the book, journeys and exploration, Koori Victoria, literature, music, plants and gardens, science and technology, sports and games, and war. The major sub-collections include: Arts: Comprising materials from the worlds of music, theatre, dance, magic, cinema, crafts, television, radio, and the visual arts. Australian History and Literature: Includes biography, history or literature, either published in Australia, substantially about Australia, or written by an Australian author. Australian Manuscripts: Contains a wide range of handwritten, typescript, electronic and other forms of unpublished text records and documents, including the personal papers of individual men and women. Newspapers: One of the largest and most significant in Australia, comprising Victorian, Australian and overseas material. Pictures: Comprising visual works and realia documenting the history of Victoria and its people from the early years of the colony to the present day. Genealogy: This collection brings together key Australian materials relating to genealogy. While focusing mainly on materials from Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, the Library's Genealogy Collection also reflects Victoria's growing ethnic diversity through its Greek, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese and Jewish records. Rare Printed: Comprises books (Australian and non-Australian), children?s literature (published between the 16th and 21st centuries) and maps(with a primary focus on Australia and especially Victoria). Redmond Barry: Provides access to information covering Business, Law, Government, Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Technology, Sport and Recreation, including Australian and international materials. "

Themes: Shaping Victoria's Environment, Peopling Victoria's Places & Landscapes, Connecting Victorians by transport and communications, Transforming and managing land and natural resources, Building Victoria's industries and workforce, Building towns, cities and the garden state, Governing Victorians, Building community life, Shaping cultural and creative life