About us

Tasmania opened one of Australia’s first libraries in 1825 and was the first state in Australia to provide library and archive services.

Libraries Tasmania is comprised of the State Library of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Archives, 45 public libraries, the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts and the Office of the State Archivist.

We provide modern library and archive services that are accessible and inclusive. 

We welcome people of all ages, interests and needs, offering opportunities for lifelong learning, social interactions and cultural inspiration, our services and programs contribute to our State’s growth, with an estimated economic impact of over $130 million annually.

State Library of Tasmania

The State Library of Tasmania was established by the Libraries Act in 1943. Our role is to collect the documentary history of the state and copy of every publication produced here. Our growing collection includes contemporary works by modern Tasmanian writers as well as a rich weight of historical material.

Much of the collection, including old newspapers, has been digitised. It is available through Trove and Flickr, alongside the Tasmanian Archives content. These are valuable resources for all curious minds and are especially welcomed by family historians.

The State Library contributes to Tasmanian Government priorities, including education and tourism. Our collections enable us to produce authentic Tasmanian curriculum-related content to support learning in schools. They are also a draw card for visitors on the cultural trail.

The State Library of Tasmania plays a leadership role in libraries. As part of National and State Libraries Australasia we work closely with libraries across Australian and New Zealand.  We are one of nine libraries behind the National edeposit. This ground-breaking service captures and preserves Australia’s documentary history.

The State Library and Archives Trust was established under the 1984 Libraries Act. The Trust awards grants aimed at advancing library and archives knowledge in Tasmania, contributing to the sector nationally.

In the 1960s, the State Library received donations of the Allport and the W L Crowther collections. Parts of these collections form a boutique permanent exhibition at the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts.

Our historical collections include many colonial depictions of Tasmanian Aboriginal people and culture. This content does not reflect current understanding and is provided in historical context. These sources offer information about the lives of Tasmanian Aboriginal people since colonisation. While these items can be confronting, they are a valuable record of history which should not be forgotten.

Given the deep cultural significance of these items and the range of related publications and content held in the State Library and the Tasmanian Archives we aspire to become a place of connection, healing, and reflection for Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

Tasmanian Archives

The Tasmanian Archives preserves the documentary heritage of Tasmania’s government and people, past and present. Consisting of the Tasmanian State Government and community archives, these irreplaceable resources are preserved and made available online and in person. This allows people anywhere in the world to connect with Tasmania’s memory, identity and history.

Public Libraries

Our 46 public libraries are located across Tasmania, from Flinders Island to Geeveston.

Public libraries provide places of welcome, learning and exploration for everyone no matter their age, background or identity. Members can borrow items for free both online and in-person.

We support families, family history enthusiasts, jobseekers, people looking for WiFi, PCs or help with technology, keen readers of all ages and people who need help with reading and writing… and you!

Keeping the kids inspired, learning and entertained with regular activities, school holidays programs, and up-to-date online and hard copy collections for all ages.

Borrow on the go. It is so easy to search and find what you’re looking for. Just download the Libraries Tasmania Lending app on your smartphone or tablet to get easy access to everything in the catalogue. You can pick up and drop off at any public library in Tasmania.

Learning is for everyone. Explore your passions through adult education classes. Enjoy family history research. Improve your English language skills by joining a conversation group. Develop your literacy, numeracy, and digital skills. We have many more classes, workshops and activities for all ages and skill levels – and it’s all free.

Libraries across Tasmania offer free information and support to adults who want to connect with learning through the Lifelong Learning Information Service. Just visit your local library and talk to one of our friendly staff or call 1800 808 303 for more information.

It’s so easy to join. Why not become a member?

Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts

The Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts is located in the State Library and Archives building in Hobart. It is an internationally significant library and museum of fine arts. Its extraordinary permanent collection includes:

  • rare books, 
  • colonial works of art, 
  • photographs, 
  • eighteenth and nineteenth century furniture, silver, glass, fine china and objets d’art. 

Its gallery space hosts a dynamic exhibition program showcasing local contemporary artists.

Office of the State Archivist

The Office of the State Archivist (OSA) supports state and local government, government business enterprises, state owned companies, the University of Tasmania and other state authorities to meet the objectives of the Archives Act 1983 (Tas). It supports the State Archivist in providing whole-of-government policy, standards and advice for the appropriate management and retention of state records.

Libraries Tasmania is a proud member of the 26TEN Network, supporting 26TEN Network programs through the public library service.

Related

See the Department of Education Annual Report for more about our performance.

2021/22 snapshot


2.25 million

physical visits


3 million

online visits


501 970

physical items in lending collection


2.4 million

physical items borrowed


823 680

digital items borrowed


33,000

State Library & Archive Service enquiries


105 245

members


53 450

attendances in programs and events


145 000

engaged Facebook users


778

hours contributed by volunteers per week


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