Double page spread of Majnun at the Ka‘ba, from Nizami, Khamsa, 1509–10
When you become a Friend of the State Library of Victoria, donate money, support special appeals or make a general bequest, your contribution supports the Library's work. Through your support we can continue to grow and conserve our collections, be a leader in digital library developments and a centre for creativity and knowledge.
Unique collection items & resources
Your support means important resources and heritage items can be bought by the Library and enjoyed by Victorians now and for years to come. Discover some of the unique materials our Friends have helped the Library acquire:
The Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami, manuscript dated AH 915–16 (1509–10 AD) & the Tutinama (Book of the parrot) of Nakhshabi, manuscript dated AH 1223 (1808–09 AD)
These beautiful and rare books join a small group of Persian manuscripts at the State Library of Victoria – home to the finest and oldest collection of rare books in Australia. They are of great interest to scholars and the general public, and are shown on rotation in the Library’s permanent exhibition Mirror of the world: books and ideas. The books will be digitised and placed online to be accessed by all Australians.
The Times digital archive
This archive provides online access to The Times, one of the world's most famous newspapers, in its original published context. Content dates from the newspaper's first appearance in 1785 through to 2006, and is updated each year. Containing more than eight million articles and advertisements, it's an invaluable research resource, particularly for genealogists and historians.
Rennie Ellis Collection
This extraordinary archive of images by the celebrated Melbourne photographer Rennie Ellis is a valuable record of Victorian life and culture in the late 20th century.
Ellis's photographs encompass social history and politics, the nightclub scene and parties, popular culture, sport and portraiture. They record Melbourne's diverse street life, with significant series on Toorak Road, graffiti sites, festivals and markets. His subjects include celebrities and socialites; artists, actors, writers and musicians; shopkeepers, politicians and activists; migrants, families and ordinary people in the suburbs.
Ballarat goldfields diary
This extraordinary diary was written in 1855 by a Scottish gold-digger living in Ballarat. It charts six eventful months in the miner's life, telling of a fire that killed 11 people, the arrival of new prostitutes in town and the escape of a Bengal tiger in Ballarat's Main Street.
Fascinating in its detail, the diary brings Victoria's historic gold rush period to life.
Mark Strizic archive
In 2007 the Library acquired Mark Strizic's entire archive of around 5000 negatives, colour transparencies and slides. The internationally renowned photographer has captured changes in Melbourne's society and urban landscape for over 50 years.
Strizic is best known for his images of Melbourne in the 1950s and 60s, when he recorded the last vestiges of one of the world's great Victorian cities as many of its historic buildings fell.
Juan Davila's Panorama of Melbourne
This 12-metre panorama traces the evolution of Melbourne's built environment, from the homes of Indigenous Victorians and the tent city of white settlement through to the computer-aided design of contemporary city buildings. It concludes with a futuristic view of what the city may become.
Juan Davila is one of Australia's most influential contemporary painters and the Library holds one of just two copies of this grand work.
Peter Carey papers
Highlights in this collection of papers include the publisher's manuscripts for the bestseller True history of the Kelly Gang, and working notebooks belonging to the Booker Prize-winning author. Also among the papers are typescripts, complete electronic drafts and corrected hardcopy drafts of Carey's novels Wrong about Japan, Theft: a love story and My life as a fake.