Whether it’s too hot or too rainy, the State Library is a great choice when the elements aren’t working in your favour!
Centrally located next to the Domain and The Royal Botanic Gardens, the State Library of NSW is a perfect place to take a couple of hours rest and relaxation out of your busy sightseeing schedule. It was opened as the Australian Subscription Library in 1826, thus making it the country’s oldest library. In 1869 it was bought by the state government for the then-princely sum of £5100, and has been free for Sydneysiders and visitors alike to enjoy ever since.
The Mutiny on the Bounty, First Hand
Now, almost 200 years after it opened, the library contains over five million items, including two million books and over a million photographs. One particular highlight of the collection is the log and journal of William Bligh, captain of the HMS Bounty before its famous mutiny in 1789, after which he and his loyal men made their almost unbelievable 4,000 mile journey to Timor. Also intriguing are all six editions of The Australian Abo Call, published in 1938, which was the first newspaper printed in Australia to focus on the concerns of native Aboriginals.
A Treasure Trove of Australiana
These and many other unique items are organized in free exhibitions that are often put on by the library. You can peruse these at your leisure while taking in the gorgeous architecture of the Mitchell Library Reading Room, or enjoy a coffee in the Café Trim, which is open seven days a week. As if that weren’t enough, there are frequent film screenings in the library’s projector room, also free of charge, as well as a History and Heritage Tour every weekday at 10.30am.
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