Established in 1854 as the Melbourne Public Library, State Library Victoria is Australia's oldest public library and one of the first free public libraries in the world.
Our founders believed that access to knowledge was critical for the development of a civil and prosperous community, and created 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.
These are responsibilities that remain a critical focus today. Each year we add more than 70,000 items to the Library’s rich collection and lead the sector with our ambitious digitisation programs.
We want the Library to be a place where all Victorians can discover, learn, create and connect. We want to be a cultural and heritage destination for Victorians, and a catalyst for generating new knowledge and ideas.