State Library of Victoria

The monumental State Library of Victoria hosts the biggest collection of books throughout the state. The building was constructed during the gold rush and leaves no doubt that authorities didn’t expect the money to run out anytime soon.

The Library symbolises the dream of its founder, Sir Redmond Barry, of building a 'people’s university', a place where the world’s knowledge and information would be freely available to all citizens, regardless of social status and financial resources. In fact, the Library was one of the first free public libraries in the world and has proudly maintained its highly respected status.

The La Trobe Reading Room is one of the Library’s most impressive features: Six storeys of book shelves rise to both sides of the enormous room, housing up to 32,000 books. An enormous dome arches over the room adding to its history- charged atmosphere.

The Library also hosts a number of galleries, including the Cowen Gallery, which showcases Australian paintings that document Melbourne’s development from a small settlement into a bustling metropolis.

The steps and lawn in front of the Library are a popular spot for city workers, students and visitors to take a break and soak up some sun. This is also the place for numerous demonstrations and public announcements.


Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 10am–9pm, Friday to Sunday 10am–6pm
Admission: free