State Library of Tasmania

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Hobart Library
State Library of Tasmania.jpg
Libraries Tasmania HQ, including the State Library, in Hobart
LocationHobart, Tasmania
Branch ofLibraries Tasmania
Legal depositYes

The State Reference Library is the reference library in the state of Tasmania, Australia. It is part of Libraries Tasmania. Libraries Tasmania includes a state-wide network of library services, community learning, adult literacy and the State’s archives and heritage services.


The first "Tasmanian Public Library" opened in 1849, in a house in Hobart, funded by a government grant and yearly subscription of members. It became accessible to the public in 1860, but was forced to close in 1867 owing to debts. In 1870 a new, free public reference library opened in the Hobart Town Hall. American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie funded the move to new premises in 1907, with the requirement that a free lending service should be established at the same time.[1]

The Libraries Act (1943) established the State Library of Tasmania, administered by the Tasmanian Library Board. At this time, the Library included many branches across the state, which grew in number over time until such time as some were closed in government rationalisations.[1]

From October 2006, the State Library, the Archives Office, Adult Education and online access centres were integrated as the Community Knowledge Network, renamed LINC Tasmania in 2009.[2] The system was part of the Tasmanian Department of Education.[3][4][5] The name changed from LINC Tasmania to Libraries Tasmania in mid-2018.[6]

Location and description[edit]

The headquarters of Libraries Tasmania, which also houses the State Library, is located at the corner of Murray and Bathurst Street in Hobart. The public Reading Room is located on the second floor of the building.[7]

The State Library contains over 200,000 books, periodicals, maps and directories. Reference and research services are provided to on-site and off-site clients using a range of print and online resources.[citation needed]

Heritage Collections[edit]

The library operates several collections and archives of historical publications and documents, particularly those related to Tasmania. In addition, the library maintains a newspaper index, an image library and a database of sheet music.[8]

Tasmaniana Library[edit]

A collection of historical and modern published material related to Tasmania, in a range of formats from paper to digital. All Tasmanian-related material is collected including all works published in Tasmania, all works published about Tasmania, and all works by Tasmanian authors.[9][10]

W.L. Crowther Library[edit]

A collection of historical books, documents, photographs, works of art and objects collected by Sir William Crowther, whose great-grandfather arrived in Hobart in 1825. The library contains about 15,000 books and manuscripts, as well as photographs and artworks, and whaling ephemera including a collection of scrimshaw.[11][12][13]

Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts[edit]

Another collection of historical material, bequeathed to the people of Tasmania by the Allport family to the library in 1965. It includes about 6,000 books, and outstanding collection of about 2,500 colonial-era artworks (by family members and others) and collections of Georgian era furniture, British, French and Chinese porcelain.[14][15]

Digital collections[edit]

In 1998, the State Library developed a service to capture and store selected Tasmanian websites, known as Our Digital Island. The sites were downloaded and then reinstalled onto a State Library server, where they would operate independently of the original site, and held in perpetuity. The legal deposit obligations within the Tasmanian Libraries Act 1984[16] allowed the Library to capture the websites without having to gain permission their Tasmanian publishers. While the service did not capture all Tasmanian websites, it had captured about 600 by 2003.[17] The publicly available store of Our Digital Island contains websites as preserved from 2001 until 2012.[18][19][20] The 3000 website records (with over 9000 captures taken at different times) are available through the Libraries Tasmania online catalogue.[21][22]

Over time, Our Digital Island began to also store electronic documents as separate entitities (annual reports, policy documents, etc.), but it became clear that the format did not allow for easy accessibility and use, so the Library set out to create a different type of online depository and archive. The Stable Tasmanian Open Repository Service (STORS) was a joint initiative of the State Library and Service Tasmania that was officially launched in late 2003. Its scope was limited to self-contained electronic resources with a defined title (i.e. excluding websites) which were able to be used by current web browser software. collected all material published in Tasmania, as per legal deposit requirement. The purpose of STORS was to act as a repository for and to provide access to contemporary electronic documents, and to serve the function of an archive by retaining these documents forever.[17] Publishers submitted their digital publications directly to STORS, which by the end of 2017 held about 33,000 items.[21]

STORS was terminated on 31 May 2019, when it was replaced by the National edeposit system (NED),[23] a collaboration between Australia’s nine national, state and territory libraries.[24] As a member library of National and State Libraries Australia, the organisation collaborated on the creation of NED, which enables publishers from all over Australia to upload electronic publications as per the 2016 amendment to the Copyright Act 1968 and other regional legislation relating to legal deposit,[25] and makes these publications publicly accessible online (depending on access conditions) from anywhere via Trove.[26]

The State Library of Tasmania is not a partner organisation in PANDORA, the national web archive.[27]


  1. ^ a b Marshall, Tony (2006). "State Library of Tasmania". The Companion to Tasmanian History. University of Tasmania. Retrieved 2 May 2020. Further reading: J Levett, The origins of the State Library of Tasmania, Hobart, 1988; 'Libraries', Tasmanian Year Book 2000.
  2. ^ "About LINC: The LINC Tasmania story, so far". Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  3. ^ "About us". Libraries Tasmania. Archived from the original on 29 January 2019. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  4. ^ LINC Tasmania; 26TEN (Program : Tas.), (issuing body.) (2014), Welcome to your LINC : one amazing network, over 60 great locations and 24/7 online access, [Tasmania] Department of Education, LINC Tasmania, retrieved 8 June 2015
  5. ^ LINC Tasmania (author) (1800), LINC Tasmania, [Hobart, Tasmania] Department of Education, retrieved 8 June 2015
  6. ^ Bailey, Sue (3 June 2018). "LINCs going back to libraries". The Advocate. Archived from the original on 29 January 2019. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Hobart Reading Room". Libraries Tasmania. 2 May 2020. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  8. ^ Tasmania. Archives Office; State Library of Tasmania. Serials Section (1988), A List of newspapers held in Archives Office of Tasmania, State Reference Library serials collection, regional reference libraries, as at 19 July 1988, State Library of Tasmania, retrieved 8 June 2015
  9. ^ List of theatre programmes in the J.W.B. Murphy Collection : Tasmaniana Collection, State Library of Tasmania, 1980, retrieved 8 June 2015
  10. ^ Hutton, Bridget (1987), An annotated bibliography of children's fiction from the Tasmaniana library, B. Hutton, 1987], retrieved 8 June 2015
  11. ^ Wesley, C (October 1979), "A survey of the W. L. Crowther Library, State Library of Tasmania", Great Circle, 1 (2): 44–59, ISSN 0156-8698
  12. ^ Marshall, Tony (1 November 2007), "'The choosing of a proper hobby': Sir William Crowther and his library", The Australian Library Journal, Australian Library and Information Association, 56 (3–4): 405–417, doi:10.1080/00049670.2007.10722432, ISSN 0004-9670, S2CID 143825757
  13. ^ [Biographical cuttings on W.E.L. Crowther, State Library holds the entire collection of rare books compiled by Dr. Crowther of Hobart, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals], 1900, retrieved 8 June 2015
  14. ^ Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts (1993), The Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts (Rev. ed.), State Library of Tasmania, ISBN 978-0-7246-1703-6
  15. ^ Stilwell, Geoffrey Thomas, 1931-2000; State Library of Tasmania; Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts (1992), State Library of Tasmania Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts second exhibition of items purchased from Allport bequest funds or acquired by donation for the collection in the past twenty five years, 1967-1992 : opened 17 June 1992, State Library, retrieved 8 June 2015CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  16. ^ "Libraries Act 1984". Tasmanian Legislation Online. 3 May 2020. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  17. ^ a b Sokvitne, Lloyd (2003). "STORS –The development and implementation of an open repository service for Tasmanian electronic documents" (PDF). Retrieved 2 May 2020. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  18. ^ State Library of Tasmania; LINC Tasmania (2001), Our Digital Island: the State Library of Tasmania web preservation site, State Library of Tasmania, retrieved 3 May 2020, Note: as of April 2012, Our Digital Island site is no longer updated.
  19. ^ "The State Library of Tasmania Web Preservation Site". State Library of Australia: Our Digital Island. 1 July 2001. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  20. ^ "The State Library of Tasmania Web Preservation Site". LINC Tasmania: A Tasmanian web archive: Our Digital Island. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  21. ^ a b Jerome, Jen (29 November 2017). "Digital collections – our most fragile and at risk Tasmanian heritage?". Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Blog – Libraries Tasmania. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  22. ^ "Search Results for SERIES="Our Digital Island archive"". Libraries Tasmania. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  23. ^ "STORS is now closed". Libraries Tasmania. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  24. ^ "About - National edeposit". NED. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  25. ^ "What is legal deposit?". National Library of Australia. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  26. ^ "What is National edeposit (NED)?". NED. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  27. ^ "Other archives". Pandora Archive. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2020.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°52′54″S 147°19′28″E / 42.881735°S 147.324552°E / -42.881735; 147.324552