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Anzac Day: The Library will be open as usual on Friday 25 April.

La Trobe Reading Room: The La Trobe Reading Room will close at 3pm on Tuesday 29 April. More information

Anzac Day & La Trobe Reading Room early closure
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Carnival of Curiosity

Sunday 7 July 2013, 12:00pm - 6:00pm
Bookings not required
See list below for venue details

Enjoy a day of surprises at the Library! There are heaps of free activities for kids – circus tricks, magic, things to make and draw, amazing tales and even a time machine. Discover Ned Kelly’s armour, Captain Cook’s waistcoat, our smallest and most gigantic books – plus musical performances, talks from artists and writers, tours for history buffs and lots more.

Read the schedule below, print the program at the bottom of this page or pick up a free program at the Library on the day.

This event is one of many Dome Centenary events taking place in 2013 to celebrate our iconic dome and all that it enables.

All day activities

Blast from the past

For everyone
Poke your head through a giant photo of Library staff from 1890 and take a happy snap.
Experimedia

Ned Kelly helmets

Ages 4+
Make your very own Ned Kelly helmet before heading off to see the real thing.
Experimedia

Craft your own curious collection

Ages 4+
Make your own miniature book, poisonous scroll, Ned Kelly helmet, Captain Cook waistcoat or Press Dress.
Experimedia

Steampunk Headquarters

Ages 12+
Steampunk inventors Caleb Heinselman and maduncle invite you into their world of crazy contraptions, unusual timepieces and sci-fi madness. Check out novels, art, and machines old and new in their steampunk lounge.
Queen’s Hall

Curiosities galore

Ages 8+
Come and marvel at some of the Library’s quirkiest items – a book that’s also a bat, John and Betty flash cards, the National Football board game, Captain Cook’s waistcoat, Joan Duck card trick, a magic wooden hand, two magician’s cages, hobnail boots, a gunpowder horn, an historic fireman’s helmet and the extraordinary Press Dress.
Cowen Gallery

Puzzling pieces

Ages 8+
Use custom-made Lego® with words to piece together a poem, story or work of art.
La Trobe Reading Room

Free, secular and democratic: building the Public Library 1853–1913 exhibition

Best for grown-ups
Discover the cultural centrepiece of 19th-century Melbourne and the grand vision that inspired it.
Keith Murdoch Gallery

Activities from 12pm

12–5pm: The focal point – lost in time

Best for grown-ups
Follow the clues and create an evolving narrative in this roaming, interactive game with characters from across time. Join in any time. 
Queen’s Hall

12.15–12.45pm: Punch and Judy puppet show

Ages 4+
All-time puppet favourites Punch and Judy cavort and frolic in this cheeky show.
Queen’s Hall

12.15–12.30pm: Mirror of the world pop-up talks

Best for grown-ups
Explore the wonderful world of books – from a miniature library and John James Audubon's Birds of America, to a rare first edition of The hobbit and an artist’s book made from posters, tarpaulin and cattle-feed sacks.
Dome Galleries, Level 4

12.15–12.45pm: 19th-century classroom

Ages 8+
Learn the art of copperplate script in an authentic 19th-century classroom, complete with slate writing boards. Presented by Sovereign Hill.
Queen’s Hall

12.30–4.30pm: Drawing in the dome

Ages 8+
Come and create your own masterpiece with artists Oslo Davis and Marco Luccio.
La Trobe Reading Room

12.30–1pm: The Royal Society for Questions & Curiosity tours

Ages 8+
Intrepid information explorers Dimity Briggstoke and Reginald Jacoby lead a tour to discover the Library’s secret spaces and stories.
Departing from Palmer Hall

12.45–1.15pm: Curious storytelling

Ages 4+
Curl up on a beanbag and listen to tales of the weird and wonderful from our entertaining storytellers.
Experimedia

12.15–12.35pm, 12.45–1.05pm: Ned Kelly: the true story of the Kelly gang (1906)

For everyone
Watch surviving footage from the 2006 restoration of the world’s first feature-length narrative silent film. Directed by Charles Tait. (G)
Village Roadshow Theatrette

Activities from 1pm

1–4.30pm: Drawing in the dome

Ages 8+
Come and create your own masterpiece with artists Oslo Davis and Marco Luccio.
La Trobe Reading Room

1–5pm: The focal point – lost in time

Best for grown-ups
Follow the clues and create an evolving narrative in this roaming, interactive game with characters from across time. Join in any time.
Queen’s Hall

1–5pm: Grow your family tree

Ages 8+
Learn how to create your very own family tree.
Genealogy centre

1.05–1.35pm: Punch and Judy puppet show

Ages 4+
All-time puppet favourites Punch and Judy cavort and frolic in this cheeky show.
Queen’s Hall

1.15–1.45pm: Melbourne’s own Sherlock Holmes: forensic pioneer Detective Piggott

Best for grown-ups
Talk by Kevin Morgan
Revisit the mean streets of early 20th-century Melbourne through the eyes of Detective Frederick Piggott, Australia’s first forensic investigator. Piggott’s meticulous casebooks – held at the Library – contain Australia’s earliest known examples of blood-spatter analysis, handwriting analysis, and hair and fibre comparisons. Kevin has written two books based on Piggott’s casebooks, Gun Alley and Detective Piggott’s casebook.
Village Roadshow Theatrette

1.15–1.30pm: Mirror of the world pop-up talks

Best for grown-ups
Explore the wonderful world of books – from a miniature library and John James Audubon's Birds of America, to a rare first edition of The hobbit and an artist’s book made from posters, tarpaulin and cattle-feed sacks.
Dome Galleries, Level 4

1.15–1.45pm: 19th-century classroom

Ages 8+
Learn the art of copperplate script in an authentic 19th-century classroom, complete with slate writing boards. Presented by Sovereign Hill.
Queen’s Hall

1.30–2pm: The Royal Society for Questions & Curiosity tours

Ages 8+
Intrepid information explorers Dimity Briggstoke and Reginald Jacoby lead a tour to discover the Library’s secret spaces and stories.
Departing from Palmer Hall

1.30–4pm: Brass band

For everyone
The 23-piece Maroondah Brass Band will entertain you with songs from the late 19th-century through to the 1940s.
Forecourt

1.40–2pm: Circus Trick Tease

For everyone
Roll up for a 1940s-inspired acrobatic show performed by a kooky bunch of misfits.
Queen’s Hall

1.45–2.15pm: Curious storytelling

Ages 4+
Curl up on a beanbag and listen to tales of the weird and wonderful from our entertaining storytellers.
Experimedia

1.45–2pm: The changing face of Victoria pop-up talks

Best for grown-ups
Explore the stories behind Ned Kelly’s boot, a pair of vintage celebrity rollerskates, an historic water barrel and genuine magician’s props.
Dome Galleries, Level 5

1.50–2.10pm: Ned Kelly: the true story of the Kelly gang (1906)

For everyone
Watch surviving footage from the 2006 restoration of the world’s first feature-length narrative silent film. Directed by Charles Tait. (G)
Village Roadshow Theatrette

Activities from 2pm

2–4.30pm: Drawing in the dome

Ages 8+
Come and create your own masterpiece with artists Oslo Davis and Marco Luccio.
La Trobe Reading Room

2–5pm: The focal point – lost in time

Best for grown-ups
Follow the clues and create an evolving narrative in this roaming, interactive game with characters from across time. Join in any time. 
Queen’s Hall

2–5pm: Grow your family tree

Ages 8+
Learn how to create your very own family tree.
Genealogy centre

2.15–2.30pm: Mirror of the world pop-up talks

Best for grown-ups
Explore the wonderful world of books – from a miniature library and John James Audubon's Birds of America, to a rare first edition of The hobbit and an artist’s book made from posters, tarpaulin and cattle-feed sacks.
Dome Galleries, Level 4

2.15–2.45pm: JJ Clark: architect of the Australian renaissance

Best for grown-ups
Talk by Andrew Dodd
John James Clark has been described as ‘Australia’s greatest architect’. He was 14 when he began practising and by age 19 had designed the Melbourne Treasury, Australia’s finest renaissance revival building. This fascinating talk reveals the inspiration and drama of Clark’s controversial career. Andrew’s book based on this research won a 2013 Museums Australia Multimedia and Publication Design Award.
Village Roadshow Theatrette

2.30–3pm: Punch and Judy puppet show

Ages 4+
All-time puppet favourites Punch and Judy cavort and frolic in this cheeky show.
Queen’s Hall

2.30–3pm: The Royal Society for Questions & Curiosity tours

Ages 8+
Intrepid information explorers Dimity Briggstoke and Reginald Jacoby lead a tour to discover the Library’s secret spaces and stories.
Departing from Palmer Hall

2.30–4pm: Brass band

For everyone
The 23-piece Maroondah Brass Band will entertain you with songs from the late 19th-century through to the 1940s.
Forecourt

2.45–3.15pm: Curious storytelling

Ages 4+
Curl up on a beanbag and listen to tales of the weird and wonderful from our entertaining storytellers.
Experimedia

2.45–3pm: The changing face of Victoria pop-up talks

Best for grown-ups
Explore the stories behind Ned Kelly’s boot, a pair of vintage celebrity rollerskates, an historic water barrel and genuine magician’s props.
Dome Galleries, Level 5

Activities from 3pm

3–4.30pm: Drawing in the dome

Ages 8+
Come and create your own masterpiece with artists Oslo Davis and Marco Luccio.
La Trobe Reading Room

3–5pm: The focal point – lost in time

Best for grown-ups
Follow the clues and create an evolving narrative in this roaming, interactive game with characters from across time. Join in any time. 
Queen’s Hall

3–5pm: Grow your family tree

Ages 8+
Learn how to create your very own family tree.
Genealogy centre

3–3.45pm: George Dreyfus in conversation with Joel Crotty

Best for grown-ups
See composer George Dreyfus and musicologist Dr Joel Crotty in conversation, then head to the La Trobe Reading Room to hear George conduct an 18-piece band (performances at 4pm and 5pm).
Village Roadshow Theatrette

3.10–3.30pm: Amazing illusions

Ages 12+
Direct from the Magic Castle in Los Angeles, illusionist Simon Coronel performs cutting-edge conjuring tricks.
Queen’s Hall

3.15–3.45pm: 19th-century classroom

Ages 8+
Learn the art of copperplate script in an authentic 19th-century classroom, complete with slate writing boards. Presented by Sovereign Hill.
Queen’s Hall

3.15–3.30pm: Mirror of the world pop-up talks

Best for grown-ups
Explore the wonderful world of books – from a miniature library and John James Audubon's Birds of America, to a rare first edition of The hobbit and an artist’s book made from posters, tarpaulin and cattle-feed sacks.
Dome Galleries, Level 4

3.30–4pm: The Royal Society for Questions & Curiosity tours

Ages 8+
Intrepid information explorers Dimity Briggstoke and Reginald Jacoby lead a tour to discover the Library’s secret spaces and stories.
Departing from Palmer Hall

3.30–4pm: Brass Band

For everyone
The 23-piece Maroondah Brass Band will entertain you with songs from the late 19th-century through to the 1940s.
Forecourt

3.40–4pm: Circus Trick Tease

For everyone
Roll up for a 1940s-inspired acrobatic show performed by a kooky bunch of misfits.
Queen’s Hall

3.45–4.15pm: Curious storytelling

Ages 4+
Curl up on a beanbag and listen to tales of the weird and wonderful from our entertaining storytellers.
Experimedia

3.45–4pm: The changing face of Victoria pop-up talks

Best for grown-ups
Explore the stories behind Ned Kelly’s boot, a pair of vintage celebrity rollerskates, an historic water barrel and genuine magician’s props.
Dome Galleries, Level 5

Activities from 4pm

4–4.30pm: Drawing in the dome

Ages 8+
Come and create your own masterpiece with artists Oslo Davis and Marco Luccio.
La Trobe Reading Room

4–5pm: The focal point – lost in time

Best for grown-ups
Follow the clues and create an evolving narrative in this roaming, interactive game with characters from across time. Join in any time. 
Queen’s Hall

4–5pm: Grow your family tree

Ages 8+
Learn how to create your very own family tree.
Genealogy centre

4–4.05pm: Fanfare for a new dome

For everyone
Celebrated composer George Dreyfus conducts 18 musicians in his three-minute fanfare, first performed at the reopening of the domed reading room in 2003.
La Trobe Reading Room

4.10–4.30pm: Amazing illusions

Ages 12+
Direct from the Magic Castle in Los Angeles, illusionist Simon Coronel performs cutting-edge conjuring tricks.
Queen’s Hall

4.15–4.45pm: 19th-century classroom

Ages 8+
Learn the art of copperplate script in an authentic 19th-century classroom, complete with slate writing boards. Presented by Sovereign Hill.
Queen’s Hall

4.15–4.30pm: Mirror of the world pop-up talks

Best for grown-ups
Explore the wonderful world of books – from a miniature library and John James Audubon's Birds of America, to a rare first edition of The hobbit and an artist’s book made from posters, tarpaulin and cattle-feed sacks.
Dome Galleries, Level 4

4.15–4.45pm: Lost treasure: Eugene von Guérard’s landscape drawings

Best for grown-ups
Talk by Dr Ruth Pullin
The unfamiliar Australian landscape made a startling impact on Eugene von Guérard, one of Australia’s greatest landscape painters. In 1852, the 41-year-old Austrian-German artist encountered the new landscape for the first time, and his first three years here were pivotal in his successful European and Australian careers. Listen as Ruth recounts her search for pages from von Guérard’s first three ‘lost’ Australian sketchbooks, which she believed lay hidden within the Library’s collection.
Village Roadshow Theatrette

4.45–5pm: The changing face of Victoria pop-up talks

Best for grown-ups
Explore the stories behind Ned Kelly’s boot, a pair of vintage celebrity rollerskates, an historic water barrel and genuine magician’s props.
Dome Galleries, Level 5

Activities from 5pm

5–5.05pm: Fanfare for a new dome

For everyone
Celebrated composer George Dreyfus conducts 18 musicians in his three-minute fanfare, first performed at the reopening of the domed reading room in 2003.
La Trobe Reading Room

5–5.30pm: Paper cuts: atlases as sculpture

Best for grown-ups
Talk by Nicholas Jones
Melbourne-based sculptor Nicholas Jones makes 3D maps, not with a computer, but with a scalpel and piercing saw. By carving into the bodies of books, he sculpts paper coastlines and mountains. Hear about his altered books inspired by cartographical curiosities from the Library’s collection, including the ground-breaking Theatrum orbis terrarum by Abraham Ortelius (1574).
Village Roadshow Theatrette

5.10–5.30pm: Amazing illusions

Ages 12+
Direct from the Magic Castle in Los Angeles, illusionist Simon Coronel performs cutting-edge conjuring tricks.
Queen’s Hall

5.40–6pm: Ned Kelly: the true story of the Kelly gang (1906)

For everyone
Watch surviving footage from the 2006 restoration of the world’s first feature-length narrative silent film. Directed by Charles Tait. (G)
Village Roadshow Theatrette

Eat, drink & shop

Mr Tulk licensed cafe will be open 10am–4pm. Readings bookshop in Palmer Hall will be open 12–6pm.