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Tours

We have many different kinds of tours you can participate in to explore the full riches, curiosities and history of the Library

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Woman showing a group of people a large map on marble foyer

History and Heritage tour

Enjoy a free one hour volunteer-led History and Heritage tour of the Library.

During the tour you will:

  • Discover the architectural features of both the historic Mitchell Library and the Macquarie Street building.
  • Learn about the decorative stonework, stained glass windows and the magnificent bronze doors of the Mitchell Library.
  • Explore the marble mosaic reproduction of the Tasman Map in the Mitchell Library vestibule and the beautiful Tudor style Shakespeare Room.

Individuals and small groups

When: Monday to Friday at 10.30 am

Where: Meet the tour guide in the Macquarie Street foyer

Bookings: Not required

Large groups

Large group tours are conducted Monday to Friday by prior arrangement.

Bookings are essential and must be made at least 14 days in advance. Contact us for more information.

Bookings essential - enquire now

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Wood panelled room with bookcase and ornate rug

Visit the Shakespeare Room

The Shakespeare Room is richly embellished with Tudor motifs by woodcarver Charles Sherline and features a plaster ceiling modelled on Cardinal Wolsey's closet at Hampton Court Palace. The Shakespeare Room is a glorious hidden gem in the heart of a busy city.

The Shakespeare Room is located in the Mitchell Library on the Ground floor.

Open on Tuesdays from 10 am to 4 pm. Bookings are not needed.

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Students seated on floor of booklined room listening to talk

Research orientation programs

Teachers or lecturers can book a group session with Library staff for their students.

Students will learn how to make the most of the Library’s collections and resources including how to use the Library’s catalogues and develop search strategies.They will also be taken on a tour to explore the Library’s reading rooms and underground stacks.

The program is free and open to secondary, tertiary and English as a Second Language (ESL) student groups.

Bookings are essential, and we encourage you to book early for these popular programs. Contact us for more information.

Bookings essential - enquire now

International librarians and archivists

The State Library welcomes international colleagues from libraries, archives and galleries.

Short visit

Take advantage of the daily History and Heritage tour. The volunteer-led tour is free and takes about an hour.

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man talking to small group of people in front of bookshelves
Individuals and small groups

When: Monday to Friday at 10.30 am

Where: Meet the tour guide in the Macquarie Street foyer

Bookings: Not required

Large groups

We provide tours for large groups Monday to Friday. Bookings are essential. Book at least 14 days in advance.

For more information about tours and bookings contact us.

Longer visit

If you are interested in meeting with Library staff to discuss particular topics, we ask that you assist us to make arrangements by:

  • Contacting us well before your visit – two months before your visit will allow us to arrange meetings with senior staff who can be best match your areas of interest
  • Providing us with the topics you wish to discuss or research while you are at the Library
  • Bringing an interpreter who can assist if you will need help to understand English.

If you are an international visitor with a background in the library, archives or the information sector and would like to find out more information or arrange a visit please contact international.visitors@sl.nsw.gov.au