26 September 2023

Library’s new tour goes digital

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State Library Victoria has launched a new free digital tour for anyone and everyone to learn the fascinating history of the Library’s iconic spaces.

Known as ‘Wander’ the new tour is available to download on smart phones and tablets and reveals insights into memorable moments of the Library’s 167-year history, the people who made the institution what it is today and points out the Library’s best features and others harder to spot.

Uncovering the tidbits was a highlight for the team behind the new experience – I’m Free Walking Tours’ Ross Pickrell, Liam Bell, Daniel Aguiar, Astrid Watt and Andreas Baruhas.

According to Astrid Watt, all were excited to share the history and secrets of Australia’s oldest public library.

“We had a lot of fun uncovering quirky facts and stories about the Library,” Ms Watt said, “we hoped to create a kind of ‘if these walls could talk’ tour, highlighting some of the funnest and funniest aspects of the Library while imparting information about its history and literally guiding people through it”.

“A lot of people see the Library as a tourist destination and come to take snaps of the Dome – but there’s so much more to it, and now it’s easy to get the full experience,” she said.

Chief Executive of the State Library, Paul Duldig said he was thrilled to see the creative idea come to life.

“We are delighted to see this experience become a reality with the launch of Wander,” he said.

“It’s fantastic to see the awe and wonder on people’s faces as they traverse the Library listening to the stories revealed in the tour.”

He said it covered the early establishment of the Library, the first chief Librarian Augustus Tulk and the family who lived in the Library in the 1960s-70s; the history of The Ian Potter Queen’s Hall, the marble staircase and murals, the Dome and all our fabulous reading rooms with lesser-known facts and funny moments peppered throughout.

“Wander was developed through the Library’s 2021 grants program, Alchemy, as part of Creative Victoria’s City Revitalisation Fund,” Mr Duldig said.

“It is one of three digital tours to be released in 2023, with Child Nation and Solace to go live in September and October this year,” he said.

The Library’s new ‘Wander’ can be accessed at this PS News link.

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