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The roof

29 July 2020

Watch Access All Areas: the roof

The Library roof, seven floors above the ground, is a site inaccessible to the public – and even to Library staff!

However, the CEO has the keys – and now Kate Torney invites you to join her as she ventures beyond the 'Keep out' signs to take in an elevated vista of the city, as seen from the rarefied space of the Library's roof.

Discover more about the roof

  • George Swain brought up a family of six children in an apartment on the roof of the dome, while working as the Library's last residential caretaker until the early '80s. (The area where his apartment previously existed is now the plant room, housing electricals for the Wheeler Centre.) Read a 2017 blog post in which George shares astonishing recollections about raising his family on the roof of the Library – and for those who crave more detail, George's memoirs are held in the Library's collection.
  • Behind the scenes of The Ian Potter Queen's Hall - watch this revelatory short film to see how the architects behind the $10 million renovation of the Library's original reading room have preserved the Hall's original, iron-and-glass fishscale roof.

About Access All Areas

In this video series, join former CEO Kate Torney for exclusive insights into her most cherished collection items, spaces (including some that even staff can't access!), legends and legacies at State Library Victoria.

Find out more and view all episodes.