Library early closure: The Library will close at 5pm on Thursday 23 October to prepare for the annual Keith Murdoch Oration. More information

Facade conservation & repair works: Over the next few weeks there will be intermittent noise in the La Trobe Reading Room while work is carried out on the external walls. More information

Library early closure & facade conservation works
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When the Library first opened its doors to the public in 1856, there were 3846 books on its shelves. We have grown a lot since then, and today we hold over two million books in the collection.

While we have books on just about every conceivable branch of human knowledge, there are specific subject areas we've focused our collecting on: artliteraturemusic, architecture, government and law, science and technology, war, sport and games, film and performing arts, children's books and the history of the book.

Since 1869, the Library has collected, via the legal deposit provision, all books published in Victoria, providing a record of the State's publishing history. We’ve also actively collected everything to do with Australia and its history.

Books on Australian literature and history can be found on the shelves of the La Trobe Reading Room, while books on international topics can be browsed on the shelves of the Redmond Barry Reading Room. There is also a special reading room devoted to the arts and performing arts.

Remember that many of the Library’s books are kept in closed storage areas, and these books can be found by searching the catalogue. You can search by title, author or subject, or by entering common words or phrases into the search field.

The Library also collects ebooks and has commenced digitising key Victorian historical works from our print collections, such as Edmund Finn's Garryowen sketches.