Nearly 1.6 million people come through the front door of the State Library of Victoria each year. It is more than just a storehouse of over 2 million books and hundreds of thousands of print, audio, video and digital material. The Library is a custodian of Victoria's culture and history over the past 150 years, and makes them tangible to the public through various exhibitions, events and children activities. Themes and topics range from the culinary history of Victoria to the historic 19th century artworks of William Sturtt.
The Library is a cultural icon and landmark of Melbourne, boasting some of the city's most elegant 19th century heritage interiors. Located in in the heart of the Library, La Trobe Reading Room with its majestic domed ceiling is popular with visitors. Opened in 1913, the domed reading room was modelled after the British Museum and inspired the design of the Olympic Park in Sydney.
Now you can gain a deeper insight into the Library and its works through a guided tour of the Dome Galleries that overlook the Reading Room. It is home to 2 exhibitions, namely 'Mirror of the World' that traces the history of books and the 'Changing Face of Victoria', which sheds light on the infamous Ned Kelly who was incarcerated in the Old Melbourne Gaol. Best of all, the tour is FREE. Tours are held daily from 2pm to 3pm except public holidays and selected dates over the summer holiday period in December and January.