Keep exploring the world
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.
Transport your mind
As you'll be aware, we've temporarily closed our doors as a preventative measure to support the health and wellbeing of our visitors, staff and volunteers, as well as the broader community.
But the Library is more than just a building.
In these challenging times, we know some of you may be feeling isolated.
Let our online collections and resources transport you, feed your curiosity and open up your world!
Ask a librarian
Our doors may be closed, but our Ask a Librarian service is still available and our librarians are here to help you tackle any subject.
Please note: Library staff are currently working offsite due to the COVID-19 situation. It can take a little time to find you the best information available, so please bear with us and a member of our team will be in touch within a few days of receiving your inquiry.
Memory Bank: The Collective Isolation Project
Daily life is different for each of us during this period of restrictions and physical isolation, and we're intensely curious about what this moment looks like for you.
Each week we invite you to respond to a prompt to deposit in our Memory Bank: The Collective Isolation Project. Your contributions of the mundane, the ephemeral and the magical will cement this moment and bring it to life for those who come after us.
Please join us!
Ebooks, journals & music
Skill up and stay curious
We've launched a range of online webinars, talks and programs to help keep you engaged, inspired and inquisitive while at home.
Whether you're interested in learning more about our rich collection or want tips for taking better photos on your smartphone, 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.
- Stay connected in our digital world with our Tech Tips Tuesdays video tutorials.
- Missing your favourite nooks and books in the Library? Take 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 – and discover how they've navigated working from home!
- Discover the stories behind fascinating collection items in Collecting Conversations.
For babies, preschoolers & younger kids
We've got plenty of programs to inspire, entertain and engage younger kids during school holidays or learning-at-home.
- Nurture a love of stories with our Storytime archive
- Catch up on songs, rhymes and stories in Baby Bounce
- Watch Story Talks with Sally Rippin, creator of the much-loved Billie B Brown, Hey Jack! and Polly and Buster books
- Watch Story Talks with author/illustrator duo Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys
- Visit the enchanted Story Island.
Connect with us on Instagram and follow #SLVBookClub, where our team shares what we’re reading and our top book recommendations.
Get started with our most popular posts, including:
- Discovering Diener's Ice Works, part one and part two
- Collection care from home during COVID-19
- The inspiration behind Picnic at Hanging Rock
- Slums of Melbourne
- Eight women from Australia's history you should know.
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:
- Afternoon tea & talk: Astrid Edwards in conversation with authors including Jess Hill and Christos Tsiolkas
- How Australia can recover from the COVID-19 crisis: a Policy Pitch webinar
- Kaz Cooke on a unique item from our collection – a mourning brooch made of gold and human hair
- Alexis Wright (pictured) interviewing Australia's finest storytellers in Signposts: Stories for our fragile times
- 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.
We have online galleries of select images from many of our exhibitions, past and present, including:
- 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.