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On 15 August 2017, a group of Donvale Hill  Probians was very fortunate to participate in an extremely interesting tour of the State Library of Victoria.
All present was formed into two groups led by two very informativeguides , Norman and Corrina.
Since the Library was opened in 1856, the building has also housed the National Gallery of Victoria, Museum of Victoria,and the Public Records Office. These have since been relocated to their present sites.
Firstly on the tour, the group was taken to Level 4 of the Dome Galleries to view the La Trobe Reading Room, formerly known as the Dome Reading Room. This is a very impressive room with numerous rows of reading desks radiating out from the centre with the iconic concrete and glass dome high above. This dome was the first of this kind to be built in the world.
The State Library not only has a vast collection of books and Research materials but also almost five million treasures.
Amongst these the group saw amongst many other items and displays

Ned Kelly s Armour, one of his boots and his gun.

Copies of the 56 page Jerilderie letter, including two original pages. This letter had been dictated by Ned to fellow Kelly Gang member Joe Byrne in 1879.

The remnants of a double walled barrel retrieved from Port Phillip  Bay. It would have had  muslin placed between the walls to filter water for the first settlers at Settlement Cove Sorrento.  This was really the first primitive Desalination  Plant.

The fourth edition of the first handwritten newspaper in Victoria.

Batman s map and Treaty signed by Aborigines which is one of the three originals in the world. 

 Mostly the tour was on Level 5 of the Dome Galleries. However, all were very privileged to also be taken up the Grand Staircase, built of Sicilian marble and beautiful grey black Buchan limestone, to see the magnificent Queens Hall. The centre of this hall housed the original library and reading room. It has been closed for some years but it isabout to be refurbished, along with other extensions and alterations as part of Vision 2020 and costing 88 million dollars
The tour ended with everyone feeling the need to return to see more. Thank you to Ken for organising such an interesting and enjoyable morning.
Joyce Begelhole.