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State Library of Victoria Ian Potter Queen's Hall 2019
Photograph: Patrick RodriguezThe Ian Potter Queen's Hall

You can download the State Library's huge collection of books, music and photos for free

Now's a great time to use the library's family history research tools, too

Rebecca Russo
Written by
Rebecca Russo

The State Library of Victoria’s physical doors may be shut for the time being, but it doesn’t mean you can’t explore the best parts of this mega library online. 

Everyone now has access to the library’s massive digital collections, which includes thousands of photographs, personal manuscripts, magazines, journals, newspapers, comics, theatre programs and advertisements – even video archives. You can also access more than 19,000 ebooks, music and a huge range of journals and articles if you’re a member of the library (sign up for free here).

The library’s free image pool is particularly exciting, especially if you, like me, enjoy looking at ridiculously old photos of Melbourne. There are more than 170,000 copyright-free images in there, as well as maps and architectural drawings. There are also the library’s online galleries to explore with exhibitions past and present on display.  

If you’ve got a lot of free time (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) you could even start a research project (there are plenty of ways the library can help, including its Ask a Librarian service) or you could delve into your past and research your own family history. Use the library’s family history research tools to see what these resources can tell you about your family tree. 

Recommended reading: the best things to do at home right now.

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