Our stories

Voices from the Great War

Voices from the Great War

June 30, 2021

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights:

Our Library has a vast collection of material relating to World War 1 including many original diaries and photographs. Two notable diaries were written by (Victor) Rupert Laidlaw and Alice Kitchin. Both were eyewitnesses to history and their diaries speak eloquently of their experiences, and reflect the horrors of the conflict.

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.

Julie Murray on the magic of play-based learning

Julie Murray on the magic of play-based learning

June 21, 2021

Education, Our stories:

Written by Stanley Hong This winter, Julie Murray is the resident host for our weekly Playdate at the Library sessions. We interviewed Julie about her work from Sounds Like This,… Read More ›

New online collections

New online collections

June 4, 2021

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Our stories:

With 20+ new additions to our databases, there’s something for everyone – always available online.

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.

Armchair travel with State Library Victoria

Armchair travel with State Library Victoria

May 5, 2021

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Our stories, Research tips:

After over a year of international travel restrictions and domestic border closures, many of us are longing for a holiday. State Library Victoria collections can take you to faraway places – and back in time – without leaving your home.

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.