Free, secular and democratic

This special exhibition explored the Library's first 60 years, from its founding in 1853 to the opening of the magnificent domed reading room in 1913.

Celebrating the Library's contribution to Victoria's cultural life, the exhibition highlighted the roles of founder Sir Redmond Barry and architect Joseph Reed, the building of the collection and the story of the varied cultural institutions that shared the Library site.

Curated by Harriet Edquist, the Free, secular and democratic: building the Public Library 1853–1913 exhibition was held from May 2013 to February 2014 to coincide with the Library's Dome centenary celebrations.

More to explore