Start Space

$2 million donation to boost opportunities for budding entrepreneurs

June 1, 2017

News:

Leading Australian businesswoman Christine Christian has donated $2 million to State Library Victoria to establish Start Space – a new centre to support early-stage entrepreneurs, the first of its kind… Read More ›

Meet some of the team behind Australia’s oldest public Library

Meet some of the team behind Australia’s oldest public Library

May 26, 2017

Our stories:

This week we’re celebrating our wonderful team as part of the Australian Library and Information Association’s Library and Information Week. From librarians and technicians to photographers and conservators, we have more than 300 staff who work to run Australia’s oldest public Library. We hope you celebrated your library this week too.

The 1967 referendum

The 1967 referendum

May 26, 2017

Such was life:

On 27 May 1967, Australians voted in record numbers to alter two sections of the Constitution so it no longer discriminated against Aboriginal people. The landslide ‘yes’ vote was seen as a watershed moment in Australian political history.

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.

Visions of fairyland: Herbert Swire’s watercolours

Visions of fairyland: Herbert Swire’s watercolours

May 19, 2017

Such was life:

Herbert Swire was 22 years old when he joined a scientific voyage to Antarctica on board the ship, HMS Challenger. He captured what he saw in two delicate watercolours that have recently been donated to the library.

The YVR Collection : a treasure trove of vintage recordings

The YVR Collection : a treasure trove of vintage recordings

May 18, 2017

Arts, Music:

YVR = Ballarat Vintage Recordings.  This sequence contains several collections of vinyl recordings that include the ABC Sound Library, Kevin James Collection, Betty Pounder Collection, and Ron White Collection.  They are stored… Read More ›

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.

Mr and Mrs Hanify on tandem, 10 March 1900, State Library Victoria

616 issues of the Australian Cyclist (1893–1905) go online

May 15, 2017

News:

Perfect for cycling enthusiasts or vintage bicycle buffs, the Australian Cyclist advocates all aspects of the bicycle, and included advertisements for local bike shops and depots, reviews of road races, programs of racing events, local league notes and, of course, cycling club gossip.

Australian ornithologists in Siberia

Australian ornithologists in Siberia

April 28, 2017

People & professions, Such was life:

In 1903 the Australian ornithologist Robert Hall (1867-1949) embarked on his major expedition to Siberia (via Japan and Korea), to collect specimens and eggs of Siberian birds known to migrate… Read More ›

“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!”

Such was life

Ruth Hollick and early Australian fashion photography

Ruth Hollick and early Australian fashion photography

August 30, 2017 1 comment

Ruth Hollick is noted for her portraits of children and of Melbourne society’s elite as well as creating some of the earliest known fashion photographs in Australia.

Arts

Chung Ling Soo, the Marvellous Chinese Conjurer ALMA 93.2/34

The life and death of master magician Chung Ling Soo

September 20, 2017 0 comments

Magician William Ellsworth Robinson left behind his plain name and New York background and reinvented himself as the Chung Ling Soo, the Marvellous Chinese Conjurer, complete with an exotically imaginative and fictitious life story, In the great days of vaudeville he achieved world fame and in 1909 embarked on a wildly successful tour of Australia and New Zealand. A decade later, still at the height of his career, Chung Ling Soo was mortally wounded on stage undertaking his sensational bullet catch trick.