State Library Victoria is open ANZAC Day, Thursday 25 April, from 10 am to 6 pm.

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Redmond Barry Reading Room

The Redmond Barry Reading Room is one of the Library's main research and reading spaces.

With its mezzanine design and skylit galleried ceiling, it's one of the Library's celebrated heritage spaces.

Refurbished in 2004, the Redmond Barry Reading Room houses the Library's general nonfiction and Journals and Magazines collections. The reading room is furnished with workstations, desks and tables, and Library PCs for online browsing or catalogue research.

Ask staff for assistance at the Ask a librarian desk, which is open for walk-up visitors during the day in the Southwest corner.

The Redmond Barry Reading Room is reached via the Russell Street Welcome Zone, and connects to the Cowen Gallery.

About the Redmond Barry Reading Room

The original space opened as McCoy Hall, and from 1899 until 1997 it was home to the National Museum. Featuring significant natural history material gathered from all over the world, the space was filled with displays of taxidermied animals, including the legendary racehorse Phar Lap.

The institutions now known as Museum Victoria, the National Gallery of Victoria and Public Record Office Victoria have all shared the site with the Library at various times.

About Redmond Barry

Sir Redmond Barry (1813–80) was an instrumental figure in Melbourne's early history, establishing many of the cultural and educational institutions that continue to shape our city's character and reputation. The Anglo-Irish lawyer arrived in Melbourne in late 1839, and subsequently became a founding judge of the Supreme Court. In 1853 he was appointed by Lieutenant-Governor La Trobe as Chancellor of the University of Melbourne and Head of the Trustees of the Melbourne Public Library, positions he held for nearly 30 years until his death. During that time he also oversaw the establishment of the Museum and the National Gallery.


Daily 10am–6pm


  • Library staff
  • work desks
  • bookable PCs
  • magazines and journals