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Library early closure: The Library will close at 5pm on Thursday 23 October to prepare for the annual Keith Murdoch Oration. More information

Facade conservation & repair works: Over the next few weeks there will be intermittent noise in the La Trobe Reading Room while work is carried out on the external walls. More information

Library early closure & facade conservation works
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Great Hall & rotunda, Intercolonial exhibition

Watch a 3D virtual reconstruction of the buildings erected  for the 1866–67 Melbourne Intercolonial exhibition.

The two main exhibition buildings, the Great Hall and the rotunda, were designed by Reed & Barnes and constructed behind the Melbourne Public Library on the site where the dome is now. The buildings were designed to be temporary and their facades were fairly crude, so everything depended on the effect of their interiors. It was here that Edward La Trobe Bateman’s skills as a designer shone.

This video was commissioned for the Free, secular and democratic: building the Public Library 1853–1913 exhibition. It is one of many Dome Centenary events taking place in 2013 to celebrate our iconic dome and all that the Library enables.

The voiceover for this video is provided by Harriet Edquist, Professor of Architectural History at RMIT and curator of the Free, secular and democratic exhibition.