Museums

State Library of New South Wales Sydney

Where is it at?

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State Library of New South Wales
Macquarie Street
Sydney
NSW
2000
Tel: 2 9273 1414

Directions

The building is situated between the Royal Botanic Gardens and Parliament House on Macquarie Street, Sydney.

Where are we going today?

The State Library of New South Wales is a popular family day out to those in Sydney - did you every think a library would be where you might be headed? Well, keep reading and you will see why!

The State Library of New South Wales collections, exhibitions and galleries that cover a range of topics, from the natural world, to political history, to social aspects, the environment, and more!

Why not check out the AMAZE gallery, which is a collection of rarely displayed objects from the collections with the full artefacts histories alongside them, so kids really can learn and understand what amazing things they are looking at right in front of them. It's a dizzying wealth of history and poignancy with wide appeal!

It's always changing too, so there is always something new to see with every visit, and it just makes you think about how many hidden wonders the State Library of New South Wales really has in their hands!

Then, you have the exhibition galleries.  These are great for kids as they use multi media to give a hands-on experience, and they approach the subjects from every angle, providing a holistically educational experience.

Across the year, they always have different exhibits, whether it's photography, or portraits, or wartime history - keep checking back to see what you won't want to miss!

So next time someone asks what you want to do on your next family day out, why not say: The library, of course!

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How much does it cost?

  • AdultsFree so far as we know!
  • ChildrenFree as far as we can tell
LAST UPDATED 2016

When can we go?

Galleries: 9am - 5pm Mon - Wed & Fri / 9am - 8pm Thurs / 10am - 5pm weekends

Year round

I'm Hungry!

Cafe Trim is located on site and its the perfect place to sit, and enjoy coffee, cake or a sandwich! Open 7:30am - 5pm weekdays, and 10:30am - 4:30pm weekends.

Any Top Tips?

The main galleries opening times are listing on this site, but there are other opening times for other areas within the library, so check ahead before you go .

Need a little extra help?

The wheelchair-accessible entrance is off Macquarie Street, opposite Hunter Street. There are lifts in the building and accessible toilets. If you have a Mobility Parking sticker, you can use the parking spaces at Shakespeare Place, on the corner of Macquarie Street and the Cahill Expressway. It's worth contacting them if you have a sensory disability in your party as some adaptive technology exhibits are available and may apply..

Can I get one of those?

There of course is a shop, where you can pick up educational gifts and souvenirs, as well as great art related items!.

More information

If you download Curio on your phone, it is a way to get closer to the exhibits and artifacts found in the library!.

What people are saying?

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    The image shows a large room - wall to wall with books on every manner of subject. This was how information was distributed - and absorbed - before the phenomenon of relying on search engines such as Google to provide us with answers to our questions. The space was deliberately quiet - and tellingly empty - like a display in a museum. The role of the library is clearly changing in the age of information. We came for a remarkable exhibition of photographs and memorabilia from The Great War. The library is in an ideal position to bring history alive...Read More

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    Amazing place not just for book lovers but also for tourists. Just check out the colonnaded facade which is really impressive and well designed. Step into the foyer where you will find a floor mosaic depicting an early Dutch map from the 17th century showing Australia. Discover all the accuracies and marvel at the early discoveries even before Cook had come close to the South Eastern coast of the continent. Then step through the crystal glass French doors and enter the hall of books - a wide room with polished desks, two or three storeys of book...Read More

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    One of my favourite places to spend a rainy weekend. In particular I love all the free exhibitions they put on. The World Press Photography exhibition but I also enjoyed the recent Life Interrupted exhibition of WW1 personal diaries of soldiers.

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    Great place to sit back and relax with a book or just to chill and surf the internet. Located within a short walk from the heart of the CBD, the State Library is what I feel to be an underutilized resource for what it is. Not only an extremely useful resource for research, even with the internet around, there is also a gallery to see. That and free wifi, what more could you ask for?

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    Great place to rest of study when sight seeing. Nice free exhibits, free WiFi, quiet reading areas, clean restrooms.

Submit a review

by Steve Campbell Grant

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The image shows a large room - wall to wall with books on every manner of subject. This was how information was distributed - and absorbed - before the phenomenon of relying on search engines such as Google to provide us with answers to our questions. The space was deliberately quiet - and tellingly empty - like a display in a museum. The role of the library is clearly changing in the age of information. We came for a remarkable exhibition of photographs and memorabilia from The Great War. The library is in an ideal position to bring history alive through such exhibitions. Situated at the top of Macquarie Street - overlooking Shakespeare place - the bard himself would be impressed by the grandeur and grace of this wonderful Sydney icon. Five stars. Open every day. Entry is free. 

by Silke Elzner

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Amazing place not just for book lovers but also for tourists. Just check out the colonnaded facade which is really impressive and well designed. Step into the foyer where you will find a floor mosaic depicting an early Dutch map from the 17th century showing Australia. Discover all the accuracies and marvel at the early discoveries even before Cook had come close to the South Eastern coast of the continent. Then step through the crystal glass French doors and enter the hall of books - a wide room with polished desks, two or three storeys of book shelves along the gallery walls, sneaky staircases to the upper levels, a glassed ceiling, picture windows like in a church. Now walk on a descend into the basement. A tunnel will lead you to the modern part of the library, but not before you walked past some exhibits such as spoons and picture frames. The modern part of the library is the exact opposite from the old part - it's busy, lively, all glass and straight lines. Next time you are in the city have a look at this beautiful building, it's free of course.

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