State Library Victoria - history

How to research the history, development, architecture, collections and management of the State Library of Victoria.



March 16 Library closed to public, due to coronavirus (COVID-19) public health requirements. Library remained open to staff as a workplace.

March 19 Library closed to most staff, as a precaution, as two visitors who had attended the Australian International Documentary Conference at the Library from 1-4 March 2020 had tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). In the following days and months, staff were progressively allocated work from home projects. Library also closed to the public. (Access to digital and digitised collections, and limited reference services, continued online).

June 15 The Library reopened to the public, after the longest closure in its history. Access to selected study spaces, computers, wifi, and onsite reference services made available. A limited number of visitors allowed, in booked time slots. No access to physical collections at this time. Spaces opened: Swanston Street Welcome Zone, Hansen Hall, The Quad, Cowen Gallery.

June 27 More spaces opened, to a limited number of visitors, in booked time slots. Select collections available, by pre-order. Staff retrieved all collections for use (no public access to open shelves). Additional spaces opened: La Trobe Reading Room, Heritage Collection Reading Room, The Ian Potter Queen’s Hall.

July 9 Library closed to the public, per government advice, after significant increase in cases of COVID-19 in Victoria. Business critical staff onsite, with most staff working from home.

November 19 Select Library spaces reopen to the public, with staff-mediated access to collections (no browsing), across 2 set time periods. Maximum 170 visitors.

Library Closure from 9 July 2020



January 18 Increased capacity and Library open 10am to 6pm without lunchtime closure.

February 13-17 Library closed to the public and most staff, as Victoria returns to lockdown, due to COVID-19.

May 28 - June 25; July 16-27 Library closed to the public and most staff, due to lockdowns and ongoing capacity and density limits.

August 6 Library closed again as Melbourne headed into lockdown 6.

October 25 Front of house staff returned in preparation for reopening

November 3 Library reopened to the public with the following conditions.

  • Visitors over 16 required to show proof of full vaccination by checking in with the Service Victoria app, linked to a digital certificate, or with a printed copy of a certificate.
  • Masks were required indoors at all times.


April 22 Visitors to the Library no longer needed to show their vaccination status upon entry. All staff were required to have had first and second vaccines. Mask wearing was no longer mandatory.