Your home under the dome
Under the love umbrella
Join us under the roof of the storied dome – our very own 'love umbrella' that's sheltered thoughts, learning and daydreams for more than 100 years.
This video is narrated by our wonderful Library staff reading from the Australian picture book Under the love umbrella by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys, Scribble, 2017.
Here for you, always
Whether you’re entering our front doors or exploring online, State Library Victoria is here for you, always.
Come inside, make yourself welcome!
Lose yourself in our incredible collections. Nourish curious minds with our inspiring programs for all ages. Bring your burning questions to our trusted experts, who’ll point you in the right direction.
You’ll always be at home under the dome.
Photo © Carmen Zammit
Access All Areas
Join CEO Kate Torney for an all-access tour of the Library – from the dizzy heights of the rooftop to the atmospheric depths of the catacombs!
You'll gain a new appreciation for the Library's architectural wonders and the legacy, legends and lore which infuse this marvellous heritage building.
Whether you want to launch a new business, entertain the kids or find your new favourite author, explore our calendar of free, world-class programs to connect with the Library from home.
As well as books, our collections include thousands of photographs, personal manuscripts and diaries, maps, old magazines and journals, newspapers, comics, and even old advertising and theatre programs!
Check out our popular digitised collections.
Begin your research project with help from our research guides - compiled by our expert librarians - on topics from food to fashion, Victorian migration and a perennial favourite, 'What it used to cost'.
Dive into our image pool to see Victoria's history brought to life in more than 170,000 amazing, copyright-free images, including maps and architectural drawings.
Ask a Librarian
Join our expert librarians for stories, resources and research tips, as well as their responses to some of your fascinating queries.
Got a question you'd like our wonderful librarians to answer? Get in touch and let us know!
Access ebooks, newspapers & music
Victorian members can stream music, read newspapers and choose from over 200,000 ebooks: all for free, and from the comfort of your home!
Not a member yet? Get your free access membership today.
Skill up and stay curious
Check out our free online webinars, talks and programs to stay engaged, inspired and inquisitive.
Whether you're interested in learning more about our rich collection or want tips for taking better photos on your phone, you'll find something here to pique your interest.
- Ask a librarian online series: our expert librarians share stories, resources and research tips – and answer your questions!
- Our online collections: find out how to access our online databases, eresources and more in this online video and webinar series.
- Can't visit us in person? Visit your favourite nooks and books in the Library with a virtual tour.
- Learn tips and tricks for creating digital content in our Creative Tech Fridays video tutorials.
- Watch Citizen Collectors' Toolkit to learn how our collection specialists build and care for the State collection.
- Discover the stories behind fascinating collection items in Collecting Conversations.
For babies, preschoolers & younger kids
Explore our programs and experiences to inspire, entertain and engage toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children.
- Foster your child's delight in books with our Story Talks series of interviews with favourite authors like Sally Rippin, Boori Monty Pryor, Nat Amoore, Julianne Negri, and more!
- Nurture a love of stories with our Storytime archive
- Catch up on songs, rhymes and stories in Baby Bounce
- Experience the healing power of stories in our Bibliotherapy for kids podcast
- Enjoy some crafty fun together with our simple and fun Crafternoon activities
- Visit the enchanted Story Island.
Writing & writers
Books and stories, writers and writing are the bedrock of State Library Victoria. Explore our many programs bringing writing and writers straight to you.
- Join award-winning author Alexis Wright in conversation with some of Australia's finest storytellers in Signposts: stories for our fragile times.
- Hear authors Jess Hill, Christos Tsiolkas, Richard Fidler and more discussing their craft in Afternoon Tea & Talk.
- Discover the healing power of stories in our Bibliotherapy with State Library Victoria podcast.
- Look back over our #SLVBookClub, where our team shared book recommendations during 2020's lockdowns.
Get started with our most popular posts, including:
- Protecting your treasures in a bushfire
- St Kilda's punk scene in the '70s and '80s
- The secrets of Black Rock house
- Collection care from home during COVID-19
- A brief history of Federation Square
- The inspiration behind Picnic at Hanging Rock
- Slums of Melbourne
- The Smith trams and trains collection.
Discover curiosities, treasures and the latest inspiring stories from our community and inside the Library, including:
- a performance from local duo The Orbweavers, who used their 2016 Creative Fellowship to research Melbourne's waterways
- a nostalgic look back at Melbourne's lost department stores, Georges and Manton's
- an introduction to the clever kids who co-designed the Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter.
Video & audio archives
Catch up on some of the exceptional talks, lectures and events we’ve hosted at the Library over the years in our video and audio archives.
Here's a few suggestions to get you started:
- 6 weeks 6 issues: Hear from experts directly involved in planning our post-COVID recovery
- The future of ... : Creative thinkers discuss their brave and bold future ideas, from TV to politics
- 2020 Prime Minister's Summer Reading list reveals the must-read policy books of an extraordinary year
- Kaz Cooke on a unique item from our collection – a mourning brooch made of gold and human hair
- Erik Jensen (pictured) presenting his 2020 Stephen Murray Smith Lecture, The man with no face
- Anna Krien and Richard Cooke on Robyn Davidson
- Molly Meldrum on Countdown: 30 years on.
Family history resources
Looking for learning resources for secondary students?
- View our series of online tutorials for senior secondary students, focusing on resources for VCE, IB and VCAL students.
- Browse our research guides for VCE students.
- Watch our online tutorials with practical research tips for students in Years 7-10.
- Learn research skills and explore history on Ergo, an online resource aligned with the Victorian curriculum to cultivate research skills, develop critical thinking and explore Victorian history through key items in our collection.
La Trobe Journal
The La Trobe Journal, produced by the Library, features articles that draw on the Library’s rich and varied collections as source material. Whet your appetite with these articles:
- Learn about Ina Higgins, garden designer and first wave feminist.
- Glimpse changing attitudes to the Gallipoli and Western Front campaigns during WWI.
- Read about historian Clare Wright's painstaking efforts to identify the anonymous author of a rare goldfields diary.
Browse all issues of the La Trobe Journal.
Online galleries & exhibitions
We have online galleries of select images from many of our exhibitions, past and present, including:
- World of the book: celebrating the unique place that books hold in our hearts and minds, from the Middle Ages to today
- Behind the paint: Shannyn Higgins' energetic portrait series of Victoria's renowned street artists
- Story Island: much-loved images from some of Australia's favourite children's illustrators and authors
- Velvet, Iron, Ashes: surprising connections in Victorian history, from the iconic Ned Kelly armour to the famous Ashes Urn
- Love & devotion: exquisite Persian illustrated manuscripts from Oxford University's Bodleian Libraries
From the Vault
Watch these short films for a window into the surprising, poignant and sometimes funny stories behind the unique archival images in our catalogue.
Memory Bank: The Collective Isolation Project
During 2020's physical isolation and lockdown period, we invited you to respond to prompts for our Memory Bank: The Collective Isolation Project.
Your contributions of the mundane, the ephemeral and the magical cemented this moment and will bring it to life for those who come after us.
Daily life looked very different for each of us during that period. Re-visit it in Memory Bank: The Collective Isolation Project.