The Reading Room by Christine Smith

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FEATURED in Tables and Chairs 21-01-2012
FEATURED in Australian Capital Cities 05-02-2012
TOP TEN FINALIST in the Australia At Large – Inside a Room Challenge 23-05-2012

Camera: Canon EOS 400D, Lens: @ 200mm, ISO: 200, Aperture: f4, Shutter: 1/25

Taken inside the Reading Room at the State Li bray of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. The library is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register (H0253) and with the National Trust (B427). It holds over 2 million books and 16,000 serials, including the diaries of the city’s founders, John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner, and the folios of Captain James Cook. It also houses the original armour of Ned Kelly. In 1853, the decision to build a state library was made at the instigation of Lieutenant-Governor Charles La Trobe and Sir Redmond Barry. A competition was held to decide who would design the new building; local architect Joseph Reed, who later designed the Melbourne Town Hall and the Royal Exhibition Building, won the commission. On 3 July 1854, the recently inaugurated Governor Sir Charles Hotham laid the foundation stone of both the new library and the University of Melbourne. The library opened in 1856, with a collection of 3,800 books chosen by Sir Redmond, the President of Trustees. Augustus H. Tulk, the first librarian, was appointed three months after the opening. The first reading room was the Queen’s Reading Room (now Queen’s Hall), which opened in 1859. Temporary buildings built in 1866 for the Intercolonial Exhibition remained in use by the library until 1909, when work began on a new annexe building to mark the library’s Jubilee. This new building was the landmark Domed Reading Room, which opened in 1913 and was designed by Norman G. Peebles. Plans for the original annexe were scaled back due to the money running out and the annexe, to house a new museum were gradually built during the Interwar years in an austere stripped classical style. The reading dome’s original skylights were modified and covered in copper sheets in 1959 due to water leakage. The library complex also held the State’s Gallery and Museum until the National Gallery of Victoria moved to St Kilda Road in the late 1960s, and the current Melbourne Museum was built in the Carlton Gardens in the 1990s. The library underwent major refurbishments between 1990 and 2004, designed by architects Ancher Mortlock & Woolley. The project cost approximately A$200 million. The reading room closed in 1999 to allow for renovation, during which natural light was returned. The renamed La Trobe Reading Room reopened in 2003. The redevelopment included the construction of a number of exhibition spaces which are used to house the permanent exhibitions The Mirror of the World: Books and Ideas and The Changing Face of Victoria as well as a display from the Pictures Collection in the Cowen Gallery. As a result of the redevelopment the State Library of Victoria could now be considered one of the largest exhibiting libraries in the world.

Photography been a longtime hobby that has now become an obsessive passion. I am fairly eclectic in my choice of subjects, and try to see beauty in most things. Thank you for dropping by my site and I welcome any feedback and tips.

Christine’s images have had:
793 Features & 41 Challenge Wins

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  • Audrey Clarke
    Audrey Clarkeabout 3 years ago

  • Thank you Audrey.

    – Christine Smith

  • Tom Gomez
    Tom Gomezabout 3 years ago

    Super work Christine …

  • Thank you kindly Tom.

    – Christine Smith

  • Kate Adams
    Kate Adamsabout 3 years ago

    This is when I don’t miss Wikipedia, I love the feel of books, the pages, the binding, the very existence of words written down on paper or parchment…stunning Christine, wonderful dof and light!!

  • Thank you so much Kate. I also heartily agree with you, there is nothing better than holding a book in your hand and the feel of turning those pages as you read. You can’t replicate that on a laptop.

    – Christine Smith

  • DrearyDarkt33s
    DrearyDarkt33sabout 3 years ago

    A place to relax :)

  • Thanks you for stopping by and for your comment.

    – Christine Smith

  • kalaryder
    kalaryderabout 3 years ago

    Excellent, I love this library

  • Thank you so much for your kind words.

    – Christine Smith

  • SandraRos
    SandraRosabout 3 years ago

  • Thank you so much for featuring this image in Tables and Chairs Sandra. I’m absolutely thrilled.

    – Christine Smith

  • Guendalyn
    Guendalynabout 3 years ago

    gorgeous !!!

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and for the fave Guendalyn.

    – Christine Smith

  • rocamiadesign
    rocamiadesignabout 3 years ago

    Thank you for adding your work to The Best of RedBubble!

  • Thank you very much.

    – Christine Smith

  • PhotosByG
    PhotosByGalmost 3 years ago

    This photo is eligible to be entered into the $20 challenge for February 2012. Good luck!

  • Thank you so much for featuring this image in Australian Capital Cities Graham. I really appreciate it.

    – Christine Smith

  • wfdaw0
    wfdaw0almost 3 years ago

    Very lush Christine. Nice subtle tone mapping too. Well done.

  • Glad that you like it Warren. Your lovely comment is much appreciated.

    – Christine Smith

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