If walls could talk: researching the stories and histories of Tasmanian buildings

Do you know when your house was built, or who lived there before? Or, do you want to find out more about where an ancestor lived in Tasmania?

Visit in person: at the State Library and Tasmanian Archives Reading Room from early August.

From early August, our building history display at the State Library and Tasmanian Archives Reading Room shows different pathways to finding out more about the history of your own home, or a place from the past that may have significance to your family heritage.

The exhibition showcases historic photographs and films, newspapers, census records, maps, house plans, deeds and land grants – all revealing a rich insight into the structural history and architecture of a particular building, as well as the varied lives of inhabitants. 

Learn how to find out how a property may have changed over time, research past owners and occupiers, and discover the origins and significance of places and communities in the surrounding regions.

Curious about what you might find in the Tasmanian Archives? Home to more than 1.2 million archive and heritage items, you can easily explore the archives from your own device.

Image citation: Tasmanian Archives: Photograph – House at Dodges Ferry (1896), NS1553/1/469


What’s on at Libraries Tasmania in August

August is Family History Month!

Take part in our many Family History events around the state at your local library, the State Library and Archives building or visit our Libraries Tasmania website and discover more.

Did you know we have dedicated historians researching our collection?

Read about treasures and records in our State Library and Tasmanian Archives blog, by Libraries Tasmania historians bringing our collections to life.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook where we keep you in touch with online book clubs, competitions and the latest!

Learn something new this month

Get involved with Family History Month and listen to our history talks in person at the State Library and Archives building in Hobart, or online at Libraries Tasmania SoundCloud.

It’s Children’s Book Week 2022!

Get involved with the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Week 2022 from 20–26 August and attend our Book Week events around Tasmania at your local library.

Libraries Tasmania Book Week Bookmark Competition

Design a bookmark and go into the draw to have your artwork professionally printed and shared with people right across the state in libraries.

Celebrate Book Week 2022 with us by designing a bookmark that explores this year’s theme, “Dreaming with eyes open…”

The competition is open to all school age children and young people in Tasmania. The five winners (one from each age category) will have their design professionally printed and made available at our public libraries.

Pick up an entry form at your local library or download it here. Entries open Monday 25 July and close Friday 26 August 2022.

Unable to get to the library in person?

Download our Libby app on your phone or tablet and manage your family’s loans and holds with our excellent Libraries Tasmania lending app.

Cadbury’s exhibition at Glenorchy this month

Did you sample the Cadbury’s Chocolate Factory exhibition ‘By Mountain and Sea’: 100 Years of Cadbury’s at Claremont? If not, there is another chance to see it.

The Cadbury’s exhibition is now on at Glenorchy Library for the whole month of August – visit in person at 4 Terry Street Glenorchy or go online to see some incredibly rich images from our collection and read the blog.

Explore a part of our library you never knew existed

Libraries Tasmania houses a wealth of records and treasures – known as our Tasmanian Archives. Search for historical paintings, photographs, rare books, maps or manuscripts just to name a few. Remember you can learn how to explore the archives supported by our helpful staff.

Does your family have Tasmanian ancestry? Look into your past using our Tasmanian Names Index, a treasure trove of digitised records that may hold the key to your family secrets.

Attend our family history events this month at your local library or at the State Library and Archives building in Hobart, where a series of historical talks will run throughout August. To attend in person or to register for webinars go to Eventbrite. For more information about Family History Month events including a program, follow this link.

Register for activities at our libraries around the state on Eventbrite (search for Libraries Tasmania):

And activities for kids on Eventbrite:

If you need help discovering our resources, contact your local library.

National Family History Month

Records and indexes and archives, oh my!

Have you ever wondered what history your home holds? Is there talk about a long-lost family farm? Do you have a family tree that spans the world?

August is National Family History Month (NFHM), and our State Library, Tasmanian Archives and Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts at Libraries Tasmania are hosting talks that will spark your interest. Hosted by historians and family history experts, the talks will take you on a journey as you discover how to use convict records, the Names Index, TROVE, our Tasmanian Archives, and more.

Can’t make it in person? Sign up for the webinars and enjoy from the comfort of your home.

Whether you’re new to family history research or a seasoned expert, why not try one of our many fascinating Family History Month talks – here is just a selection from Eventbrite:

Keep up with the current conversation on Libraries Tasmania SoundCloud. Download the Family History Month talks program here (PDF, 2.5MB)


Libraries Tasmania Book Week Bookmark Competition

Design a bookmark and go into the draw to have your artwork professionally printed!

Celebrate the 2022 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Week with us by designing a bookmark that explores this year’s theme, “Dreaming with eyes open…”

The competition is open to all school age children and young people in Tasmania. The five winners (one from each age category) will have their design professionally printed and made available at all of our libraries.

Pick up an entry form at your local library or print online.

Entries open Monday 25 July and close Friday 26 August 2022.

Age categories:

  • 4 – 6 years
  • 7 – 9 years
  • 10 – 12 years
  • 13 – 15 years
  • 16 – 18 years

COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS 

This competition is run by Libraries Tasmania https://www.libraries.tas.gov.au 

By submitting an entry to this competition, you: 

  1. confirm that you are the entrant’s parent or legal guardian, unless entrant is over 18 years of age 
  2. consent to your child entering this competition 
  3. accept these terms and conditions of entry 

Entry is available to the general public for people between 4 to 18 years of age and who live in Tasmania. Parents/guardians must provide consent to their child entering the competition. Entrants may only enter once.   

The entry form will be available through the Libraries Tasmania website to print along with printed copies available at Libraries Tasmania libraries statewide. 

The competition opens at 9:00am on 25 July 2022 and closes on Friday 26 August 2022 at 5:00pm. Entries received outside this period will not be accepted. 

To enter the competition, ask your child to draw their bookmark design in the space provided on the entry form and complete the contact details.  

Entries can be submitted to any Libraries Tasmania library. Entries must not contain any offensive or inappropriate material or infringe a third party’s intellectual property right.  

Once the competition has closed, a judging panel convened by Libraries Tasmania will judge each entry on creativity and originality in accordance with the 2022 Book Week theme – Dreaming with eyes open.  One winner will be selected from each age category.

Winning bookmark designs will be professionally printed into a Libraries Tasmania bookmark and made freely available at library locations statewide. 

Winners will be contacted by telephone or email by Thursday 30 September 2022. Please let staff know if you do not wish for your child’s name (first name only) to be published when the winner is announced. 

Winners (first name and age category) will be announced, along with the winning bookmark design, on the Libraries Tasmania Facebook page or other Libraries Tasmania communications platforms.  

Libraries Tasmania may require a winner’s parent or legal guardian to provide evidence of the winner’s identity, including their Tasmanian address.  Entries which do not comply with these terms and conditions will not be accepted.  

Winners will receive a copy of their bookmark professionally printed. 

You acknowledge your child retains copyright of their entry.   

Libraries Tasmania collects personal information about entrants in the course of running this competition and does so in accordance with its privacy policy at Tasmanian Government Personal Information Protection (www.tas.gov.au). Eligible images will be posted on the Libraries Tasmania Facebook page and may also be used as part of Libraries Tasmania media. By submitting an entry you/your legal guardian consent to Libraries Tasmania using their first name(s) (unless requested otherwise) and submitted images for the promotion of Libraries Tasmania activities and related purposes, which include but are not limited to distribution to third parties who may use the image for commercial purposes or where release of the image is required by law.  

You may wish to withdraw your consent for future use, other than associated with this competition, by contacting Libraries Tasmania  on (03) 6165 5538 or emailing us at libraries.tas@education.tas.gov.au

Libraries Tasmania accepts no responsibility for late, lost, incomplete or invalid entries.  

If for any reason the competition cannot be run as planned, Libraries Tasmania reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the competition and /or amend these terms and conditions.  


91 STORIES… the Mt. Wellington Park: Map of roads and tracks!

Let’s take a closer look at the Mt. Wellington Park: Map of roads and tracks! Read the full story behind the original Mt Wellington map and its creator on the State Library and Tasmanian Archives blog.

Find your favourite and familiar walking tracks. The Fingerpost Track, Crocodile Rock, and the Mount Arthur Ski Slopes are just some of the many features that can be found on a stunning map of kunanyi/Mount Wellington produced in 1935 by the Hobart Walking Club.

The map, drawn by renowned Tasmanian artist Vernon Hodgman (1909-1984) and created to make the mountain more accessible, is a snapshot in time and features the unfinished road to the pinnacle as well as the main walking trails and huts.

Two walkers and a skier stride around the outside – Vernon Hodgman’s original mock-ups of these three figures are shown in the display ‘By Mountain and Sea’: 100 years of Cadbury’s at Claremont, now on at the State Library of Tasmania and Tasmanian Archives Reading Room.   

Read the full story behind the original Mt Wellington map and its creator on the State Library and Tasmanian Archives blog on The Art of Mapping kunanyi/ Mount Wellington or by visiting libraries.tas.gov.au/GetCurious

View the 91 STORIES online exhibition

Hungry for more stories? This year we are digging deeper into a selection of the 91 Stories exhibition.

Curated from selections by the Tasmanian public, the exhibition includes your favourites from the State Library of Tasmania, Tasmanian Archives and the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts.

Libraries.tas.gov.au/91stories

#GetCurious #91Stories #GetTheFullPicture

What’s on at Libraries Tasmania in June

What’s on at Libraries Tasmania in June

Celebrate winter – dive into dark nights and discover Stories After Dark at the State Library and Archives building in Hobart on 18 June!

What happens inside Hobart’s iconic 91 Murray Street building when the lights go out?

You will have the chance to find out, as the doors stay open after dark… and the walls, ceilings, floors and stairwells light up to become a mesmerising digital canvas.

Stories After Dark is open to the public on Saturday 18 June from 6:30pm – 9:30pm at Libraries Tasmania, 91 Murray Street, Hobart. This is a free, family-friendly event. For more information see our Facebook and Eventbrite pages.

Winter is here … Enjoy our collections from the comfort of your couch

Choose a cosy corner of your choice to curl up with a book from our lending collection. Or simply browse new items and place holds from your phone using our new lending app.

If it’s too cold to go out, select an e-book or watch a movie from our expanding eLibrary, stream through Beamafilm or enjoy browsing through the Australasian Video Online films and documentaries.

It’s Pride Month, when we celebrate the culture and achievements of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Intersex, Queer and gender diverse individuals and communities and progress.

Our librarians have curated a special list of eBooks to mark the occasion: Love isn’t the only thing at stake in the enemies-to-lovers e-story Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert. The tea is hot, the scones are fresh, and the dead are just passing through in the delightful queer love story Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune. See our permanent list of LGBTIQA+ eBooks on our website here.

Let our music collections shape your day

Harbour a quiet preference for classical or world music? Discover Naxos Music Library – stream free content from your phone, tablet or PC. Change it up with Naxos Jazz for something new. 

What stories in your past are held by our treasure trove?

Get Curious! Discover your own stories by digging deeper into our Tasmanian Archives to find your family’s convict records, photos, orphan home records and more.

Help a friend rediscover the joy of reading

Did you know Libraries Tasmania is helping hundreds of adults become better readers? If you know someone who needs literacy support, encourage them to ask about help with reading and writing at their local library.

Warm up with an exhibition or three!

Spoil yourself and enjoy our warm exhibition spaces this month! Get Curious and take your time amongst our displays and exhibitions:

  • The Lanney Pillar at the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts is open until 25 June 2022. Listen and watch the installation and learn more about the vibrant retelling of the Tasmanian Aboriginal history of Tasmania.

Have you driven through Geilston Bay in Hobart recently and wondered about the new mural on our repository?

The mural on the walls of the new Geilston Bay Repository was commissioned as part of the Arts Tasmania and Tasmanian Government Art Site Scheme. The work, Waves of Time, was created by contemporary artist Josh Foley.

Register for activities at our public libraries around the state on Eventbrite:

And activities for kids on Eventbrite:

If you need help discovering our resources, contact your local library.


Libraries Tasmania celebrates National Volunteer Week

We are celebrating National Volunteer Week from 16 to 22 May 2022, and acknowledging the huge contribution volunteers make each year to libraries across Tasmania.

At Libraries Tasmania, our volunteers are a vital link between libraries and the public – helping to provide support to library members across services, including adult literacy tutoring, digital literacy support, English conversation, home library couriers, the State Library and Archives Service, transcribing documents and more.

We are running several events around the state to thank volunteers for their wonderful contribution and for giving their time and commitment so generously.

“We want to celebrate the huge difference you all make. Our volunteers are totally amazing. They play a vital role in helping our Libraries Tasmania team and supporting our communities all over Tasmania”, says Deborah Stroh-Reilly, State Volunteer Operations Coordinator.

Libraries Tasmania acknowledges the varied cultures and diverse backgrounds of their volunteers, and the valuable experience they bring to the organisation – their stories, diversity, and cultural teachings.

What’s on at Libraries Tasmania this May


Visit Libraries Tasmania this May and find something to enjoy at any age!

Join us for National Simultaneous Storytime on 25 May at your local library.

Each year a story written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is read at the same time across Australia. This year’s book is Family Tree, written by Josh Pyke and illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh.

Take the grandkids for a morning out at Rock & Rhyme or Storytime

Remember singing rhymes to the kids when they were little? Rediscover the joy of singing in a small group at our Rock & Rhyme and Storytime sessions, on at your local library.

Spaces for everyone

In a mood to simply relax? Come in and find a quiet spot to sit and reflect, read a magazine, catch up with friends or surf the internet. Libraries have spaces for everyone to enjoy.

We love our volunteers! This month, we are celebrating the volunteers who make such a large contribution to Libraries Tasmania.

Have you thought of volunteering at Libraries Tasmania?

Celebrate National Volunteer Week by registering your interest – there are various roles to choose from.

The library in your pocket

All members have access to our eLibrary. You can connect using your own device.

Download eBooks or eAudiobooks to your phone for free and access them when it suits you.

Did you know that you can manage your library membership and loans using the Libraries Tasmania Lending app? Download the app today.   

Open the magic world of Story Box Library for free with your library membership – view Australian and New Zealand storytellers reading aloud selected children’s books.

No fixed address?

Whether you are couch-surfing at a friend’s, or staying in temporary accommodation, visit your local library and become a member. We have relaxed our address requirements to make it easier for you. Access all our resources, for free, anywhere.

Discover the true story of William Lanney

The Lanney Pillar at the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts is open until 25 June 2022. Attend one of the thought-provoking discussions in May at the Allport to learn more about the life of William Lanney.  

Enjoy the history of Cadbury’s at Claremont

Marvel over chocolate wrapper designs from the 1930s.

Visit the latest display ‘By Mountain and Sea’: 100 Years of Cadbury’s at Claremont, now on at the State Library of Tasmania and Tasmanian Archives Reading Room.

If you can’t make it in person, take a peek at some incredible images from Cadbury’s.

The Tasmanian Archives Research Files 

How do we make sure that remote researchers have access to the same research material as locals?

These files can now be discovered through a simple search in the Tasmanian Names Index. Read more here.

Register for activities at our public libraries around the state on Eventbrite:

And activities for kids on Eventbrite:

If you need help finding our wonderful resources, contact your local library.

Professional Historians Association Victoria and Tasmania Talks

Get curious! Visit the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts for the monthly historical talk series, Professional Historians Association Victoria and Tasmania Talks.


Professional Historians Association Victoria and Tasmania Talks, are a series of monthly public lectures held at the State Library of Tasmania, and are jointly sponsored by the State Library and Archive Service and the Professional Historians Association Victoria and Tasmania (PHA (Vic & Tas)).

Each month you can expect to hear from a professional historian, academic or researcher on the interpretation, documentation and communication of history and the present day.

The talks are presented by professional historians or experts in their field on the first Thursday of each month at 1:00 pm, and are aimed at a diverse audience of researchers, the public and people who like to expand their knowledge of Tasmania’s history and heritage.


Upcoming talk 2 June: Unfortunately due to illness June’s talk is cancelled

Catch up with past talks on the Libraries Tasmania SoundCloud and YouTube


Upcoming talk 7 July: ‘Conflicting view of the palawa people in early vandemonian newspapers‘ with Leon Atkinson-MacEwan

Details and registration to be open in the coming weeks. See Eventbrite for updates.


To find out more about our past and future events, see the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Art’s Eventbrite page.

‘By Mountain and Sea’: 100 Years of Cadbury’s at Claremont

Did someone say chocolate? How delightful!

Savour Tasmania’s rich history in chocolate making and enjoy our Cadbury’s display By Mountain and Sea’: 100 Years of Cadbury’s at Claremont.

Visit in person: Display now on at Glenorchy Library for the whole month of August – 4 Terry Street, Glenorchy.

View online: See a selection of the Tasmanian Archives Cadbury’s collection online on Flickr, and images from Cadbury’s from our catalogue.

Read the research blog: Learn about the Model Factory at Cadbury’s Claremont in the research blog.

Showcasing historic photographs, film, illustrations, and product artworks from our Tasmanian Archives and items loaned from the Hodgman family, ‘By Mountain and Sea’: 100 Years of Cadbury’s at Claremont highlights one of Tasmania’s most recognised institutions – the Cadbury Chocolate Factory.

Opening in October 1922 and developed according to Quaker ideals, the factory included housing for staff, recreation and education facilities – including a library and a cricket ground. Included in the display is information about the history of the company and its connections to dairy and fruit industries around Tasmania.

At the centre of the Reading Room display is a collection of original sketches and mock-ups drawn by Vernon Hodgman (1909 – 1984). Vernon Hodgman was a commercial artist and industrial designer at Cadbury’s Claremont between 1928 and 1940, and in 1945 became the Head of the Design Studio. These items are on loan from the Hodgman Family.

The exhibition is a celebration of our local community, shared knowledge and creativity. From family members, factory tours and primary producers, the Cadbury’s brand has touched many Tasmanian families and is a world recognised name.

Curious about what else you might find in the Tasmanian Archives? Home to more than 1.2 million archive and heritage items, you can explore the archives from your own device including the many images from Cadbury’s through our website.

Get curious! What will you discover?


Image: Cadbury Factory, Joyce in cocoa bean store, “Cadburys – A Cake of Chocolate” https://stors.tas.gov.au/AB713-1-1427