04 June, 2007

Mirror of the World - State Library of Victoria

State Library of Victoria launches major online exhibition

The State Library of Victoria has launched a major online exhibition:
Mirror of the World: books and ideas which showcases some of the State
Library of Victoria's most precious and historically significant books.

The Mirror of the World: books & ideas website was inspired by the
Library's permanent onsite exhibition of the same name. Both draw on the
incredible wealth of material in the State Library of Victoria's Rare
Books Collection and celebrate books as keepers of ideas, knowledge and
the imagination.

This website offers unprecedented access to a remarkable range of rare and
diverse items from the Library?s collections and includes works dating
from 2050 BC through to modern graphic novels and zines. Many these items
are so fragile that they must be carefully stored in climate-controlled
conditions, making their availability in the digital format all the more

The Mirror of the World: books & ideas website provides a rich, multimedia
experience through digitised interactive content including: video
presentations; audio recordings of book readings; images that can be
examined in fine detail using zoom and pan tools; book pages that can be
turned virtually; a timeline of Library rare book editions featured on the
website and much more.

State Library of Victoria CEO and State Librarian Anne-Marie Schwirtlich,
believes the website will enable many more Victorians to access these
unique Library collections.

'Our Rare Books Collection is one of the most significant collections in
Australia. As Australia's oldest public library, the State Library has
been collecting books for over 150 years. We are now able to show some of
our finest items in this magnificent online exhibition and give Victorians
a unique insight into the way books have shaped the way we think about
ourselves and the world over the centuries,' she said.

The Mirror of the World: books & ideas website forms part of the State
Library of Victoria?s slv21 strategy which, through a series of
digitisation and online programs, aims to increase access to library
resources for all Victorians.


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