Our stories

Nova et accvratissima totivs terrarvm orbis tabvla by Joan Blaeu, 1664

From Melbourne to the stars: 5 great maps from our collection

May 23, 2017

Our stories:

We have well over 110,000 maps in our collection— enough to carpet metropolitan Melbourne. Here are five highlights.

Meek’s Atlas: The story of a 155 year old oversized map

Meek’s Atlas: The story of a 155 year old oversized map

May 17, 2017

Our stories:

In late 2015, thirteen uncatalogued oversized maps and charts held in the Library’s Maps Collection were prioritised for treatment during a routine collection survey. Further investigation revealed two significant 1862 photolithographs of the 1861 oversized pen-and-ink drawing Meek’s Atlas of the British Colonies in Continental and Insular Australia.

“Kick it to Hunter, the screw kick punter!”

“Kick it to Hunter, the screw kick punter!”

April 13, 2017

Our stories:

Bill Hunter has been researching his grandfather, Fred Hunter, a star footballer in the Healesville area for many years from the early 1900s. Bill believes that it was Fred who perfected what is now known as the banana kick, a kick for goal from an impossible angle that screws at right angles. Fred’s father, Richard Rowan, developed the kick in the 1890s, and Fred perfected it during his playing days to the point where fans exhorted the team to “Kick it to Hunter, the screw kick punter!”

The owl and the heiress: The life of one book over six centuries

The owl and the heiress: The life of one book over six centuries

March 29, 2017

Arts & literature, Our stories:

What do Athena’s little owl, an unashamedly unmarried Chicago heiress, and the Heide School of modernist Australian artists have in common? A book in our collection, as it turns out… Recently I… Read More ›

Cloud watching: how we came to understand the weather

Cloud watching: how we came to understand the weather

March 23, 2017

Our stories:

People love talking about the weather. How many times have you heard someone say “Crazy weather we’re having, hey?” in the past week (or said it yourself)?

Vivian Bullwinkel far right at the Australian General Hospital, ca. 1945. Source.

8 women from Australia’s history you should know

March 8, 2017

Our stories:

The effect Australia’s women have had on our country is undeniable yet oft-forgotten. That’s why we’re taking March—Women’s History Month—to look back and share the stories of women from our past.

Say it with scorn: Vinegar valentines from the collection

Say it with scorn: Vinegar valentines from the collection

February 14, 2017

Our stories:

Rejection rather than affection was the theme of early 19th-century paper valentines.

Inside the lab: How we prepare for an exhibition

Inside the lab: How we prepare for an exhibition

January 24, 2017

Our stories:

The Library’s Conservation department works behind-the-scenes to ensure all collection and loan material selected for an exhibition is prepared and installed to a museum standard. The recent installation of ON AIR: 40 years of 3RRR was no exception.

The last residential caretaker

The last residential caretaker

January 20, 2017

Our stories:

George Swain, the State Library’s last residential caretaker sadly passed away this week. A WWII veteran, he brought up a family of six children in an apartment on the roof of the Library’s dome, living there until the early 80s. In a post he wrote for the dome centenary in 2013, George reminisces about bringing up his family on the roof of the Library.

Hack Christmas with State Library Victoria’s collection

Hack Christmas with State Library Victoria’s collection

December 16, 2016

Our stories:

Searching for the perfect Christmas wrapping paper? Dreaming of DIY decorations with a literary twist? We’re here to help! We’ve combed the collection for festive images, prints and patterns to remix into Christmas crafts.