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    Forecourt of the State Library of Victoria, c. 1864 - c. 1870, courtesy of State Library of Victoria.

State Library of Victoria

Originally known as the Melbourne Public Library, this cultural institution occupies the block bounded by Swanston, La Trobe, Russell and Little Lonsdale streets. Established in 1853 by Lieutenant-Governor Charles Joseph La Trobe and Supreme Court judge Redmond Barry, the State Library of Victoria was one of a group of institutions intended to counteract the upheaval of the gold rushes. For much of its history the Library shared premises with the National Gallery of Victoria, the Museum of Victoria and the Public Record Office. The original building fronting Swanston Street was designed by Joseph Reed. Building commenced in 1854; the central section opened in 1856, the southern end in 1859 and the northern end in 1864. The portico and fa├žade were completed in 1869-70.

Ian Morrison

Morrison, Ian, 'State Library of Victoria', in Andrew Brown-May and Shurlee Swain (eds), The Encyclopedia of Melbourne, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2005. Details