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State Library Victoria

About State Library Victoria

Established in 1854 as the Melbourne Public Library, State Library Victoria is Australia's oldest public library and one of the first free public libraries in the world.

Our founders believed that access to knowledge was critical for the development of a civil and prosperous community, and created the Library as 'the people’s university' – a place of learning and discovery for all Victorians. They also charged the Library with preserving Victoria's heritage by collecting items of historical and cultural significance for future generations.

These are responsibilities that remain a critical focus today. Each year we add more than 70,000 heritage items to the Library’s rich collection and lead the sector with our ambitious digitisation programs. We also work hard to adapt and remain relevant to our Library users, as well as reach out to new audiences. As a result, Library patronage has continued to increase, with almost two million physical visits to the Library annually and over 4.3 million annual online visits.


328 Swanston St
Melbourne VIC 3000

Local VRC: Volunteering Victoria