Graham O’Rourke: The history of the State Library of Victoria 1856 – 1913

8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Maitland Room, The Cottage, Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre

Surrey Hills Historical Society meeting

Graham O’Rourke – The history of the State Library of Victoria Shaping the Culture: the State Library of Victoria 1856 – 1913

Melbourne’s State Library of Victoria was established in 1853-1854 as the Melbourne Public Library. As such, it is Australia’s oldest public library. The vision of the founders was to create the Library as ‘the people’s university’; they also charged the Library with preserving Victoria’s heritage by collecting items of historical and cultural significance for future generations.

The competition to design a suitable building was won by architect Joseph Reed and, according to his design, the Library buildings were to be built in several stages. The first stage opened in February 1856, during the Victorian gold rush, and the famous Dome opened in 1913. In the past these iconic buildings have also housed the National Gallery and the Museum.

Graham’s survey of the early history of this wonderful institution will also touch upon the roles of Governor Charles La Trobe, Redmond Barry and Joseph Reed.

Supper follows the presentation. Car parking is available in the adjacent railway car park.

$4.50 contribution.

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