GALLERIES IN VICTORIA    State Library of Victoria


Address & Contact Details
328 Swanston Street, Melbourne (on the corner of La Trobe Street)

Telephone: +61 (0)3 8664 7000


Opening Hours
Monday to Thursday: 10am–9pm 

Friday to Sunday: 10am–6pm

Public holidays: We are closed on Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. On all other public holidays we are open 10am–6pm (galleries until 5pm).



The Library provides facilities and services for people with a temporary or permanent disability.

There are three two-hour disability-permit parking spaces in La Trobe Street, outside Mr Tulk.

Wheelchair access
Wheelchair ramp access is available at our main Swanston Street entrance, with access from La Trobe Street, and our La Trobe Street (Mr Tulk) entrance. The Conference Centre and Village Roadshow Theatrette are accessible to wheelchair users from Entry 3 on La Trobe Street.

Courtesy wheelchair
A courtesy wheelchair is available for visitors attending State Library events and exhibitions. Please note that we are unable to provide staff to push wheelchairs. To book or make further enquiries, contact the Disabilities Liaison Librarian on 8664 7005 or email

Moving within the Library
Lifts provide access to the Cowen Gallery, Dome Galleries, and Redmond Barry, La Trobe and Heritage Collections reading rooms.

Accessible toilets
There are four sets of accessible toilets in the Library:

  • Keith Murdoch Gallery – at the end of the main gallery
  • Palmer Hall – just near the entrance to Mr Tulk
  • Information Centre – either side of the lifts at the far (east) end of the ground floor

Assistive Technology Room
The Library has a dedicated Assistive Technology Room for those with disabilities, located in the Information Centre to the left of the main entry, next to The Courtyard.  It is equipped with tracking balls, a Merlin magnifier, a ScannaR, magnifiers, keyboard stands, alternate keyboards and computer software including Jaws for Windows, ZoomText, Kurzweil 1000 and UReader. Please note that we require some advance notice to optimise the room for your use. Call 03 8664 7005 prior to your visit or speak to one of the librarians in the Information Centre when you arrive.

Accessing our collections
All collections staff can help users with special needs. Book rests, magnifying sheets, illuminated magnifiers and magnifying glasses for readers with low vision are available in all the reading rooms. A Smartview black-and-white magnifier is located in the Redmond Barry Reading Room, and the Genealogy Centre has a Clearview colour magnifier. Please ask staff in the area for assistance.  

Library eventsIf you require an Auslan or Relay interpreter, please let us know when you book. Our Village Roadshow Theatrette has a permanent audio induction loop, and we can provide temporary audio loops for our other event venues.

Companion card
If you have a disability and require support from a companion to attend a paid Library event, your companion will receive free entry on presentation of a Companion card. If you book a ticket over the phone, please let us know that you require a Companion ticket.

More information
If you need further assistance or information, please call our Disabilities Liaison Librarian on 03 8664 7005.



State Library of Victoria
Established in 1854, the State Library of Victoria is Australia's oldest public library and one of the first free public libraries in the world.  The State Library of Victoria's founders believed access to knowledge was critical for the development of a civil and prosperous community and set out to create the Library as "the people's university" - a place of learning and discovery for all Victorians. They also charged the Library with preserving Victoria's heritage by collecting items of historical and cultural significance for future generations.

The Library curates, develops and presents exhibitions across 6 exhibition spaces as well as pop-up displays and touring exhibitions. The exhibition spaces are:

  • Keith Murdoch Gallery (major temporary exhibitions)
  • Cowen Gallery (Landscape paintings and drawings, portraits from the Library's collections)
  • Blue Rotunda - Cowen Gallery (mid-sized temporary exhibitions)
  • Plamer Hall Exhibition Space (community exhibitions)
  • Dome Gallery - Level 4 (Mirror of the World: Books and Ideas from the Library's Rare and Printed Collections)
  • Dome Gallery - Level 5 (Changing Face of Victoria from the Library's collections)

Permanent Collection
The Library has an extensive collection of pictures (paintings, drawings, works on paper and photographs); rare and printed materials; artists' books, ephemera and other items. There are many treasures in the collection - some of the highlights are:

  • William Strutt, Black Thursday, February 6th 1851, 1864, oil on canvas
  • John James Audubon, The Birds of America, London. Published by the author, 1827-38.
  • John Gould, Synopsis of the Birds of Australia and the Adjacent Islands, London, 1837-38
  • Ned Kelly's helmet and armour
  • Letter known as the Jerliderie Letter in Joe Byrne's Hand, February 1879.


Cafe & Bookstore
Mr Tulk café
Whether you're visiting one of our exhibitions, doing some research or just catching up with friends, stop in at our on-site cafe Mr Tulk, a renowned CBD coffee destination.  Named for our first librarian Augustus Tulk, the Library's cafe is the perfect place to fuel your research with a delicious breakfast or lunch, indulge in some coffee and cake, or relax with a glass of wine. 

Readings State Library bookshop
Inspired to read after seeing the treasures of our collection? Looking for a birthday card, gift or souvenir? Whether you're visiting the Library online or in person, make time to browse our bookshop, run by award-winning independent bookseller Readings. Discover a fantastic selection of fiction and nonfiction (including Library co-publications), music, DVDs, stationery and gifts. Browse our Palmer Hall shop in person 10am–6pm daily, or shop securely online. 


Getting to the Gallery
By Train 

Melbourne Central station is directly opposite the Library's Swanston Street entrance. Country travellers can transfer to metropolitan trains at Southern Cross or North Melbourne stations.

By Tram
There are tram stops near our entrances on Swanston Street and La Trobe Street.

By Bus 
The nearest stops are in Lonsdale, Russell and Exhibition streets.

See Public Transport Victoria for more information.

By Bicycle 
There are separated bike lanes in both directions on Swanston and La Trobe streets. You'll find bike racks on and near the corner of Swanston and La Trobe streets, Swanston and Little Lonsdale streets. See the City of Melbourne website for more information.

By Car  
The Library doesn't have on-site parking, but there is paid street parking on La Trobe Street and several pay car parks close by, including at Melbourne Central and QV. There are three parking spaces for people with a disability permit in La Trobe Street.

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