Vision 2020 will open three new reading rooms, ensuring there are more seats and quiet spaces to read, write, study and research. Two of the new reading rooms opened in spring 2018.

The Herald and Weekly Times Newspapers Reading Room and Helen Macpherson Smith Trust Family History Reading Room.

The Herald and Weekly Times Newspapers Reading Room and Helen Macpherson Smith Trust Family History Reading Room opened in the Library’s beautiful heritage galleries that were previously closed to the public.

This light-filled space with magnificent architecture features new digital technology and continues to provide the services previously available to visitors.


These reading rooms will feature:

  • the family history open access collection
  • microfilm and microfiche readers
  • hard-copy metro, regional, interstate and international newspapers
  • newspaper indexes
  • daily papers
  • large screen computers to view newspapers
  • new digital technology
  • printing, scanning and copying facilities
  • information desk

The Library’s family history collection is widely regarded as the most popular family history collection in Australia.

We also hold one of Australia’s most comprehensive newspaper collections with approximately 100,000 volumes and 40,000 reels of microfilm covering 4,000 titles of Victorian, interstate and international titles.

Opened 21 September 2018

Arts Reading Room

The Arts Reading Room and browsing collection has also relocated to a second heritage gallery.

The new Arts Reading Room has upgraded technology, while continuing to provide the services and collection access previously available to visitors.

The new Arts Reading Room will feature:

  • modern AV and DVD viewing stations
  • new listening posts
  • group AV listening and viewing area
  • quiet individual working areas
  • browsing collection of books covering art, music and the performing arts
  • browsing collection of classical and popular music scores
  • browsing collection of CDs and DVDs
  • most recent issues of popular magazines

The Arts Reading Room’s browsing collection is just a snapshot of the larger Arts Collection available to Library members.

This includes Australian and overseas collections covering music, the visual arts and performing arts. The new Reading Room will remain a designated quiet space for research and study.

Opened 21 September 2018

The Ian Potter Queen’s Hall

The Ian Potter Queen’s Hall is State Library Victoria’s original reading room. Closed to the public since 2003, Vision 2020 will unlock this majestic hall and open it to the public once again.

The Ian Potter Queen’s Hall will be refurbished to reveal the original architecture and stunning 19th-century decorative scheme.

Read more about this project. 

Opening spring 2019.