Excerpt from The Catalogue of Donations to the Public Library of Victoria, From 1856 to 1872
The melbourne public library was founded in the month of July, 1853. The building was commenced in the same month, and by progressive enlargements has reached its present dimensions, at an expenditure of The Library proper consists of three chambers on the first ﬂoor, not separated from each other by partitions or doors, viz. A central apart ment, 50 feet by 50 feet, and one at each side, 95 by 50, giving a Reading Room 240 feet long by 50 feet wide, and 30 feet high. In this the books are arranged in open compartments, formed by walls which project 1 2 feet from the main walls. Each compartment is capable of containing about 2000 volumes. A clear space of 24 feet is left in the centre, and a gallery, raised 13 feet from the ground, runs round the whole of the interior, giving further accommodation for several thousand volumes. Provision is made to secure abundant light and sufficient ventilation by day and night.
The number of Books, Pamphlets, etc., on the shelves at the last enumeration exceeded and 83. 8d. Has been expended in the purchase of those bought. The remainder, the titles of which are included in the present volume, consist of Donations, viz.
Volumes of Printed Books Together with Parts and Pamphlets, Newspapers, Single Sheets, Maps, Charts, Plans, Elevations of Buildings, Music, Photographs, and Original Manuscripts, many of which possess rare interest.
A contribution so extensive, so valuable, and so generously bestowed, hear ing so large a proportion to the books otherwise acquired, has suggested the advisability of printing a separate Catalogue, confined to these gifts; and the occasion affords an opportunity of rendering to the donors this public acknow ledgment of the gratitude of the Trustees, in addition to that already more particularly expressed.
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