Our stories

‘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 All England 11 about to embark for Australia. Mr Mallam, the top-headed gentleman behind the players, was the agent for Spiers and Pond

The All England 11 and the birth of Australian cricket

February 1, 2021

Our stories:

In 1861 the great tradition of England and Australian cricket contests commenced when the first English team arrived in Australia.

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.

Melbourne’s first newspaper

Melbourne’s first newspaper

January 1, 2021

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Victorian history:

On New Year’s Day, 1838, pioneer John Pascoe Fawkner published Melbourne’s first newspaper. Printing presses were scarce in the colony, so Fawkner handwrote the newspaper himself…

Bushfires: protecting your treasures

Bushfires: protecting your treasures

December 22, 2020

Collection Care, Conservation, Preservation:

It’s bushfire season again. How can you reduce the risk of loss of treasured objects before a disaster and what sort of salvage strategies can you use to recover them? If you live in an area where bushfire is an all too real possibility, it’s never too soon to start planning for their preservation.

Carols by Candlelight

Carols by Candlelight

December 21, 2020

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Victorian history:

This cherished Aussie Christmas institution is now in its 82nd year, and still bringing people together across the nation.

Constitution Hill at

Conservation rejuvenates ‘Constitution Hill at Sun set’

December 15, 2020

Collection Care, Conservation:

During the Library closure, Collection Care had the opportunity of attending to the conservation treatment of one of the Library’s iconic paintings, Constitution Hill by colonial artist John Glover. Recent conservation treatment has transformed its appearance and inspired a new appreciation of this important work.

by Cassandra Austen,drawing,circa 1810

Happy birthday to Jane Austen

December 7, 2020

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights:

To celebrate Jane Austen’s birthday we look at how she continues to influence popular culture and explore the library’s collection of Jane Austen related material.