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Newspapers & Family History Reading Rooms

The combined reading rooms share a stunning heritage gallery, seating 34 visitors with physical distancing measures. The light-filled space features a magnificent curved coffered ceiling and new digital technology.

In the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust Family History Reading Room, one of the Library's most hands-on research spaces, you can access the Library's renowned family collection, widely regarded as the most popular family history collection in Australia. It contains over 6000 print titles and over 2800 microfiche titles, as well as nearly 500 microfilm titles.

In the Herald and Weekly Times Newspapers Reading Room, the newspaper collection is renowned for its comprehensive scale, including approximately 100,000 volumes and 40,000 reels of microfilm covering 4000 Victorian, interstate and international titles.

The reading rooms connect directly with the Redmond Barry Reading Room and Arts Reading Room, and are adjacent to the Heritage Collections Reading Room.

About the reading rooms

The combined Herald and Weekly Times Newspapers and Helen Macpherson Smith Trust Family History Reading Rooms reopened in September 2018 as part of the Library's Vision 2020 redevelopment project.

Originally built in 1874, the bright and light gallery space was formerly known as the McArthur Gallery, home to the Art Gallery.


Daily 10am–6pm


  • Library staff
  • large-screen computers
  • print, scan & copy equipment
  • self-service point
  • seating for 34 with physical distancing measures
  • newspapers (online, hard copy and microfilm)
  • microfilm & microfiche readers