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Mystery Box: 19th century keys to the Melbourne Zoo

09 August 2021

In this episode of Mystery Box, Kevin Molloy, Principal Librarian, Victorian and Australian Collections, unboxes a collection of keys used at the Melbourne Zoo spanning from the 1880s through to the 1930s.

The keys are part of the Le Souëf family collection. The Le Souëfs were a family who owned and operated the zoo across generations, and transitioned the institution from caged enclosures to more naturalised enclosures for the animals.

Watch the video above to join Kevin as he explores the fascinating collection, including tags claiming to allow access to the zoo's 'magic horse', the 'hippo round' and the 'bird hospital' among many other curious spaces.

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About Mystery Box

In the Mystery Box video series, we bring to light some of the most extraordinary items in State Library Victoria's expansive collection. Join us as we unbox unique treasures, and explore the stories they have to tell.

Find out more and view all episodes