Mirror of the world: writing, books and ideas tour

Secondary students take a guided tour of the Mirror of the world exhibition, exploring the Library's prized collection of books and manuscripts.

A medieval illuminated manuscript
60 minutes
Year level
Year: 7–8
$130 per group (up to 25 students)
50 students

This tour highlights significant items from the Library's collection, including medieval manuscripts, rare books and a 4000-year-old tax receipt!

Journeying through our Mirror of the world exhibition, students trace the history of the book and discover the role of the Library in documenting the story of the written word.

Students also gain an understanding of the Library's role in collecting historic books and manuscripts, and experience first-hand our heritage building's unique architecture and legacy.

Student experience

Students will:

  • take a guided tour of the Mirror of the world exhibition
  • view rare manuscripts and books in the Library's collection
  • see a rare copy of Audubon's Birds of America
  • interpret and analyse a range of texts and explore their influence in changing society
  • be inspired by the domed La Trobe Reading Room from the level 5 gallery level
  • visit the Library's information centre

Curriculum information

This program links strongly to the Victorian Curriculum, history, and is relevant to Years 7–8.

Skills development

This program assists students to:

  • sequence significant events in chronological order
  • identify patterns of continuity and change
  • describe the broad patterns of change over the period from the ancient to the modern world

Embark on a journey of discovery at the State Library

Held in the inspiring heritage setting of Australia's oldest public library, our school excursions offer students a uniquely immersive, enriching experience, encouraging return visits and life-long learning. The Library has provided free access to information and education since 1856, and we invite students to become part of history as they tour the breathtaking dome and view our historic collections. All tours and workshops are developed by experienced teachers, aligned to the Victorian Curriculum and facilitated by expert staff.