Our stories

1866 in 3D: the isometrical plan of Melbourne & suburbs

1866 in 3D: the isometrical plan of Melbourne & suburbs

February 6, 2023

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Victorian history:

Sometimes called ‘bird’s eye view’ maps, isometric maps depict a view ‘from above’. This plan, produced in 1866, shows a remarkable point-in-time layout of Melbourne streets, the Yarra, Port Phillip Bay, and parts of Collingwood and East Melbourne. A closer examination reveals some of the fledging city’s most important social, economic and civic locations and buildings, as well as parks and reserves, including many which remain today.

Vance and Nettie

Vance and Nettie

February 2, 2023

Ask a librarian, Our stories, Victorian history:

For more than half a century, Vance and Nettie Palmer stood as beacons in the Australian literary landscape. In 1985, on the centenary of their births, the Victorian government established the annual Premier’s Literary Awards in their honour. Of particular note to us at the State Library is that it was here that Vance and Nettie first met.

Skyline Preston

It’s summer, let’s go to the Drive-In!

January 31, 2023

Ask a librarian, Our stories, Victorian history:

In the mid 1950s, the American craze of Drive-In theatres took off in Australia. A night out for the whole family without leaving the car, dressed any old how, chatting, eating, and watching a movie. What’s not to like? By the early 1980s 20 acres of prime land, given over to a drive in only operating at night, seemed an extravagance. Several drive ins still survive though, attracting crowds eager for the unique ‘drive-in’ experience.

Cheap holiday fares… advertising posters of the Victorian Railways

Cheap holiday fares… advertising posters of the Victorian Railways

January 27, 2023

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Social life & customs, Victorian history:

Let’s take a look at a selection of advertising posters used by the Victorian Railways in the 1930s and 1940s

‘Listen … quick. It’s Mr Whippy!’

‘Listen … quick. It’s Mr Whippy!’

January 20, 2023

Ask a librarian, Social life & customs, Such was life, Victorian history:

There are few sounds as synonymous with the beginning of summer as the strains of a Mr Whippy van floating on the breeze. But who was Mr Whippy really, and how did he get his start in Australia?

Online Collection Spotlight: Australasian literature online

Online Collection Spotlight: Australasian literature online

January 13, 2023

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights:

Fascinated by literature? Want to find out more about Australia and explore the rich and diverse literature of Oceania? Then dive into Australasian literature online!

Wilsons Promontory – treasure trove and haven

Wilsons Promontory – treasure trove and haven

January 6, 2023

Ask a librarian, Social life & customs, Victorian history:

Wilson’s Prom is a much loved holiday destination. Surrounding visitors with the natural world, a treasure trove and a haven.

Behind the curtain: the lives of Dolia and Rosa Ribush

Behind the curtain: the lives of Dolia and Rosa Ribush

January 3, 2023

Ask a librarian, Performing Arts, Theatre:

Dolia and Rosa Ribush arrived in Melbourne from Riga, Latvia in 1928. They played a pivotal role in the theatrical and cultural life of Australia.

Postcards from the beach

Postcards from the beach

December 30, 2022

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Victorian history:

It wouldn’t be a summer holiday without a hastily sent postcard that arrives home a few days after you do. Explore some of Victoria’s favourite beach towns through images from our extensive postcard collection.

Six Ft Hick live at The Tote, 2016. Photograph by Zo Damage. This work is in copyright. H2022.177/1-560.

40+ years of the Tote

December 23, 2022

Ask a librarian, Music, Our stories, Popular music, rock, Victorian history:

Music, protests and sticky carpet; as the Tote Hotel celebrates 40 years of live music, we look back on the long history of this iconic Melbourne pub.