State Library New South Wales
Why go there
The State Library offers so much more than a traditional library. As well as being a 21st century reference library with innovative, adaptive solutions to meet your needs for current and historical information, the Library is a cultural destination with an exciting range of exhibitions, programs and events.
The ornate vestibule in the historic sandstone Mitchell Wing, with the Tasman Map reproduced as a marble mosaic
The magnificent Mitchell Library Reading Room
The magnificent Shakespeare Room with timber panelling and carved Tudor period motifs
A dynamic range of exhibitions, tours, events and program to suit all tastes
As a tourist destination, the Library invites you to explore the heritage-listed Mitchell Library building and to discover something new about the State Library’s collections and treasures.
Access for all
Download a copy of the State Library of New South Wales Accessibility Guide It contains a map showing the on street and off street parking, wheelchair access from Macquarie St and information about accessing the Library’s services.
The State Library of New South Wales accessible entrance is by ramp up from The Macquarie St Historic Precinct, opposite Hunter Street. The library is housed in two buildings linked by an accessible walkway on Level 1. The Macquarie St building comprises the State Reference Library. The Mitchell Library faces Shakespeare Place. The Mitchell and Dixson galleries featuring free exhibitions are accessible via stairs and lifts from each building.
The Metcalfe Auditorium, located in the The Macquarie St Historic Precinct building, has spaces available for wheelchairs and a Hearing Induction Loop. Hearing augmentation systems are also provided at the Information desks, Friends Room, Dixson Room and the Mitchell and Dixson galleries.
A range of adaptive technologies are available for people with disabilities to access Library resources. Download the Accessibility Guide for the details.
Accessible unisex toilets are well signed and located on the ground floor of the Mitchell Library and the Macquarie St building.
The Library offers:
- A free unbooked one hour History & Heritage Tour 10.30 am Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)
- Free exhibitions
- Programs, tours and events to suit all ages and a variety of interests.
- Group Tours are conducted with prior arrangement, book 14 days in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Group Auslan Interpreted tours are also available when booked in advance.
A full listing is available at: http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/index.html
State Reference Library
The State Reference Library Reading Room, located in the The Macquarie St Historic Precinct Wing on Lower Ground 1 and Lower Ground 2, offers free access to Australian and international printed and electronic resources. Specialist services include the Legal Information Access Centre and the Family History Service.
The Verandah, located outside the State Reference Library Reading Room on Lower Ground 1, is designed for relaxation and independent use of the facilities. The Verandah offers free wireless and express internet computers.
Eating and shopping
The Library Shop specialises in Australian books and prints. Cafe Trim Open from 7.30 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Fridays and 10.30 am to 4.30 pm weekends. The café is small but tables can be accessed on the courtyard.
How to get there
Macquarie St runs south from Circular Quay, adjacent to the Opera House. However there is a steep incline to the State Library of New South Wales and several busy roads to cross (traffic lights and kerb crossings are provided).
Public transport options include buses which stops in Elizabeth Street near Martin Place (240 metres away) and Castlereagh Street near Martin Place (350 metres away). Train stations Martin Place 200m, and St James, 500m each with access lifts.
Four dedicated access parking spaces are provided in Shakespeare Place, on the corner of The Macquarie St Historic Precinct and the Cahill Expressway. There is an accessible drop-off area 65 metres from the Library in front of St Stephen’s Church at 174 Macquarie Street. People who require a closer set-down point can contact Library Security on (02) 9273 1600 to make suitable arrangements.
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Interactive map: http://maps.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/accessibility-map/