Libraries Tasmania opens its doors for Open House Hobart

Are you a fan of late twentieth century architecture?

Have you always wondered about the origins and secrets of the Libraries Tasmania State Library and Archives building in Murray Street, Hobart?

Well, you’re in luck, because Libraries Tasmania is once again participating in the Open House Hobart program on Saturday, 12 November 2022.

Visitors can book a tour of our heritage-listed building (architect: Public Works Department / John F. D. Scarborough and Associates (1960, 1972)) – and can expect truly fascinating insights into this ground-breaking piece of architecture!

The State Library and Archives building was the first major concrete frame building in Hobart, and its façade is the earliest example in Hobart of a Modernist glass ‘curtain wall’.

Sleek mid-century details can be found throughout, while the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts features nationally significant Tasmanian colonial art, books, objects and furniture. Next door, the striking ‘Brutalist Stack’ building houses the Tasmanian Archives and provides access to one of the highest vantage points in the city.

Tours are available at available at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm. Tours will fill up fast so book now to ensure you don’t miss out!

Tours are 45 minutes long, wheelchair friendly and suitable for children.

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.

Showing until March 2023, our building history display at the State Library and Tasmanian Archives Reading Room illustrates 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.

These historic photographs and films, newspapers, census records, maps, house plans, deeds and land grants – all reveal 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


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)


Get Curious

This year, Libraries Tasmania will be celebrating the key cultural collections of the State Library of Tasmania, Tasmanian Archives and the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts.

We will be inviting you once again to discover more about Tasmania’s past, and how you can play a role in telling Tasmania’s stories. 

So, get ready to… Get Curious!

Many Tasmanians sent us their favourite object, image or manuscript from the collections of the State Library of Tasmania, Tasmanian Archives and the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts to create the beautiful 91 Stories Exhibition in 2021.

This year we will delve deeper into just a few of the 91 Stories. Stay tuned for information about upcoming events and to hear from our archivists and people in our community with connections to these stories, who will help bring them to life.

Rediscover our 91 STORIES online exhibition.