Victorian history

Robert Vere Scott’s photographic panoramas

Robert Vere Scott’s photographic panoramas

July 8, 2021

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Victorian history:

Panoramic photographs have been around since the mid years of the 19th century when photographers strived to produce the arc of a wide vista in a single image. Check out some spectacular examples from the collection.

Dancing above the tracks: The VRI Ballroom at Flinders Street Station

Dancing above the tracks: The VRI Ballroom at Flinders Street Station

June 28, 2021

Ask a librarian, Victorian history:

Many Melburnians are surprised to learn that high above the bustle of Flinders Street Station sits a ballroom that has been largely unused since the early 1980s.

Fanfare for a new Dome

Fanfare for a new Dome

May 31, 2021

Ask a librarian, Our stories, Victorian history:

Brass instrumentalists from the Victorian College of the Arts were positioned in the upper galleries of the State Library’s La Trobe Reading Room (‘the Dome’), and the composer, George Dreyfus, stood on the podium below. There was a sudden, hushed silence. It was Tuesday, 8 July 2003, and the Dome was about to come alive with a bold, bright fanfare written to mark the occasion of its re-opening.

Rev Pastor Abbott

Shonky celebrants and wonky marriages ….. Holt’s matrimonial agency and the Free Christian Church

May 24, 2021

Ask a librarian, Victorian history:

The Free Christian Church and Holt’s Marriage Agency first operated in Melbourne in the late 19th century. They were never far from controversy and the law.

Golden elms beside the bowling green, Ireland St. Bright.

Bright: a town for all seasons

April 27, 2021

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Victorian history:

In normal times, the final week of April into the first week of May would see the Victorian town of Bright celebrating its Autumn Festival. Sadly, due to the pandemic, the festival was not able to run last year and has also been cancelled for this year. To mark the occasion, we take a look back over previous festivals and the history of the Town of Bright through some of the Library’s wonderful digitised images

Canvas Town: ‘a floating city, devoured by the sun’

Canvas Town: ‘a floating city, devoured by the sun’

March 31, 2021

Ask a librarian, Our stories, Victorian history:

It was November, 1852, when almost overnight, a strange sight sprang up, near Princes Bridge, in Melbourne. Canvas Town, as it came to be known, was a large tent city, set up to accommodate people on their way to the goldfields…

‘Put out that light!’ Brownout Melbourne during World War II

‘Put out that light!’ Brownout Melbourne during World War II

March 1, 2021

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Victorian history:

In 1942, amidst fears of aerial enemy attack, Melbourne’s homefront was in the grip of brownout. These were tumultuous times, and the city hummed with wartime preparations, and thousands of American service personnel. At the same time, a killer stalked in the shadows.

The Sunday question

The Sunday question

February 25, 2021

Ask a librarian, Our stories, Victorian history:

For most of its history, the Library was closed on Sundays. The battle to open was a hotly contested issue, not just at the Library, but all over Melbourne.

Dedicated to the ladies

Dedicated to the ladies

February 15, 2021

Ask a librarian, Victorian history:

In Melbourne’s early colonial days there were few places where women could go to seek knowledge. A dedicated section of the newly established Melbourne Public Library was one of them.

The scientists and the cricket match

The scientists and the cricket match

January 5, 2021

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Our stories, Victorian history:

In March 1874, Melbourne played host to an unusual cricket match, featuring some of the most pre-eminent marine biologists in the world.