At the Library

#52 Ancestors 52 Weeks – Week 5

When walking along the grand boulevarde of North Terrace in Adelaide South Australia, one is reminded of an age gone by and of grand cities in the England and Europe. Nestled between the Institute Building and the Mortlock Library is a modern structure that houses the State Library of South Australia. The structure today incorporates both the Mortlock and the Institute Building.

The South Australian Institute Building was the first library within South Australia and served as such until the Jervois Building was completed. The Institute for many years housed the newspaper reading room and archives in the basement. It was the place you went to read the obituaries and to find the news of the day. Today the space is often used for exhibitions and lectures. The old reading room at the Institute has been preserved and one can only imagine the many people who went there in the evenings not only to read the paper but also the many novels that were available.

The State Library of SA is one of the haunts of the genealogist or family historian. Copies of many South Australian records are held at the library on microfiche along with hard copies of electoral rolls. The library houses a range of different resources including diaries and letters from soldiers from the first world war. If you have South Australian relatives this library should be a go to. If you visit Adelaide than a tour of the beautiful old buildings is a must. As both areas remind one of the grand old libraries of Europe.

  1. Loades, C. 2016. Mortlock Library Interior. Photograph taken by the author.
  2. State Library SA. Public Library B1487, Photograph. This image has no known copyright restrictions. Please refer to the State Library’s Conditions of use. Accessed athttps://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+4187
  3. State Library SA. South Australian Institute Building B1193, Photograph. This image has no known copyright restrictions. Please refer to the State Library’s Conditions of use. Accessed at: https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+1193
  4. Loades, C. 2017. Reading Room, Institute Building. Photograph taken by the author.

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