Introduction to the library


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Get Started

If you're new to using the Library or want to learn more about us, you're in the right place. This guide will introduce you to the Library and help you  find and access items in our collection. If you still have questions, Ask a Librarian - we're always here to assist.

Explore the Library

Established in 1854 as the Melbourne Public Library, State Library Victoria is Australia's oldest library and one of the first free public libraries in the world.

Our Library
Learn more about who were are today, or delve back into the Library's history.

Our building
Explore a map of the Library, find out about onsite services, or take a virtual tour of our spaces.

Our collections
Discover the breadth of the Library's collections and a few highlights. 

Accessing the collection: where do I start?

A Library membership allows you to access collections within the building and most online collections from anywhere. With such a big collection it can be easy to get overwhelmed when starting your search. That’s why we have a number of tools to help you find what you're looking for.

Searching the catalogue
The catalogue is the gateway to our collections. If you're looking for a particular item, start with a catalogue search.

Research Guides
Have a research question but need some guidance? We have research guides that cover more than 70 different topics ranging from family history to hallmarking.

Accessing eresources
Whether you're interested in journal articles, ebooks, or digitised photographs and artworks, there is a wealth of material that you can access online.

Library Membership

Reward your curiousity.

Free membership is at the heart of our member community and available for all Victorians. Unlock a treasure-trove of knowledge through access to thousands of e-resources and more than five million books, photos, artworks, maps and more with our free Access membership. 

If you're looking for extra benefits to support your study, family or cultural interests, enhance your experience with one of our paid membership options: Cultural, Student or Family membership.

Become a Member