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The Library's collection of artworks includes paintings, drawings and prints. We collect works that provide visual information on Victorian history.

There are works by professional and amateur artists, spanning the time period from first white settlement in Victoria to the present day. Works may have been created to document a person, place or event, or to express the artist's emotional response to their surroundings.

The Cowen Gallery has a permanent display of works from the collection, and includes colonial and modern portraiture as well artists' impressions of events in Victoria’s history. Other works can be viewed in Library exhibition spaces such as the Keith Murdoch Gallery and the Dome Galleries.

Works from the collection are featured in the book The art of the collection, co-published by Miegunyah Press and the State Library of Victoria Press in 2007. Further information on works in the collection can also be found in articles in the La Trobe Journal.

Many of the works have been digitised and can be browsed via the Library's online catalogue.