Read all about it!

Read all about it!

August 30, 2021

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

From as far back as the 1850s, newsboys were a common sight on the streets of Melbourne. Most were poor and many were illiterate. But they were not without their friends and allies…

Trim, the Aussie cat

Trim, the Aussie cat

August 26, 2021

Ask a librarian, Our stories, Victorian history:

Adventurous, fearless, bundles of joy, cats have always accompanied their humans on their endeavours and kept their spirits high. This is such a story – Trim, the fearless Aussie cat!

Luke Keogh at the National Wool Museum

In conversation: curator and historian Luke Keogh

August 25, 2021

Collection, News:

Previous Redmond Barry fellow Luke Keogh’s latest book details a fascinating untold story in natural history, and was recently shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s History Award.

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Welfare records at the State Library

August 19, 2021

Family matters, Research tips & tricks:

Welfare records can be a great tool for a family historian! This blog explores the welfare collections held at the State Library, including the Melbourne Benevolent Asylum, Melbourne Orphan Asylum, Gordon Homes for Boys and Girls and more

Burke and Wills and Strutt.

Burke and Wills and Strutt.

August 18, 2021

Such was life, Victorian history:

William Strutt’s painting of the Burke and Wills expedition captures the daunting task facing the explorers.

Portrait of Margaret Bourke taken in Kobe, Japan, in 1998 when her team finished second in the Pacific Asian Bridge Federation Women's Team Championship event.

Vale Margaret Bourke (1945–2021)

August 16, 2021

Announcements, News, Rare Books & Arts:

Des Cowley, Principal Librarian, History of the Book and Arts, shares the story of the unique and treasured Margaret and Tim Bourke Bridge collection.

Chinese and Miners on the Way to the Diggings.

Researching your Chinese Victorian ancestors

August 5, 2021

Family matters, Research tips & tricks:

In the mid 19th century, a wave of Chinese migrants came to Australia in search of prosperity. By 1861, over 24,000 Chinese individuals were living in Victoria . Many resided… Read More ›

Portrait of an unidentified young woman, photograph by Louis Grouzelle, (between 1880 and 1890?]

Who’s that girl? Dating a 19th century photograph

July 28, 2021

Family matters, Research tips & tricks:

When browsing through collections of old family photographs it’s not unusual to come across images of unknown people and places. But how do you discover who these nameless ancestors are?

One method is to work out when the photograph was taken – once you have a rough time frame, you can compare the details of the sitter to ancestors in your family tree and hopefully find a match. This can be a complicated task, but every family historian likes a good challenge!

Pigeon messengers of World War I

Pigeon messengers of World War I

July 22, 2021

Ask a librarian, Collection spotlights, Our stories:

It may be hard to believe today, but the humble pigeon played a heroic role as messenger in World War I, braving heavy artillery fire and poisonous gas to deliver messages between the front line and headquarters.

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.

Such was life



September 21, 2021 0 comments

Ah Siug Jong came to Victoria from China to find gold but after a series of incidents he was jailed and eventually committed to an asylum. He left a complex diary which was his attempt to clear his name.


Dante 700: an Australian story

Dante 700: an Australian story

September 13, 2021 0 comments

To mark the 700th anniversary of the death of italian poet Dante Alighieri, we’re taking a look at the illustrative interpretations of his work by Australian artists.