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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Mortlock wing, State Library of South Australia

A gorgeous old library in Adelaide


This building was the first purpose built library in Adelaide, opening in 1884, the original colonial library shared The Institute building with the museum and art gallery. I love this building and enjoy taking visitors into it, most people are a bit dubious "a library?" but are amazed once they enter. My favourite comment was one that came out of the mouth of a child, who exclaimed "Hogwarts!" upon seeing the library.


The Mortlock wing from the outside, the modern glass facade is the new (2003) redevelopment of the library and a glass overpass leads into the Mortlock wing. Prior to the redevelopment, it was just called the Mortlock Library, named for a wealthy benefactor who left part of his fortune to the libraries board in the 1950s.

In the entrance plaza to the library is a statue to Robert Burns, a Scottish poet, well the most famous Scottish poet! The Caledonian society raised money for the statue to placed in a prominent position, in the early 20th century.


View as you enter into the library, the alcoves all have historic displays of different aspects of South Australian cultural history.

Looking back to the entrance from the glass overpass. There's no longer an option for the public to enter from the street level.


Heritage toy display in one of the alcoves.

The British coat of arms above the stairs.


The first floor has tables set among the shelves that are used as study areas. They're very popular with university students. I've never seen an empty table! It's incredibly quiet so a great study area.

The top area is closed to the public, I love the ladders that are on wheels so people can access the upper shelves.

The Mortlock wing as seen from the 'back' the side facing the S.A. Museum. The building was built in French Renaissance style, the interior besides being used by students, can also be booked for functions. Corporate events, dinners, wedding receptions all are held in the library. If it's booked for a function the Mortlock wing is closed to the general public so if planning on visiting, check the library website which lists the Mortlock wing closures.

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