Cataloguing another milestone - SLQ’s 10 year anniversary

On Sunday afternoon, December 7, 2003, the State Library of Queensland's building at South Bank closed its doors to the public; and so began almost 3 years of construction and redevelopment.

SLQ moved from its former William Street location to South Bank in 1988; into the building designed by noted architect Robin Gibson. In May 2000, Premier of Queensland, Peter Beattie and Minister for the Arts, Matt Foley announced the Millennium Arts Project, which in part included the redevelopment and expansion of SLQ.

State Library of Queensland, ca.1993. (In copyright). John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 34442

State Library of Queensland, ca.1993. (In copyright). John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 34442

State Library's services and access to collections continued throughout the construction period, albeit from a variety of locations. Family history, Indigenous Library Services, James Hardie Library of Australian Fine Arts, John Oxley Library, Maps and Microform were relocated to Cannon Hill, taking up residence in the old National Archives of Australia building from December 1, 2003. A week later a scaled back Reference and Information Service, which included Internet access and a small selection of reference materials was offered from the Cultural Centre Auditorium (a space now occupied by The Edge). SLQ's music and audiovisual collections were moved to Griffith University's Queensland Conservatorium and Queensland College of Art respectively. Preservation staff moved to Morningside Tafe and Image Production staff moved to the Lands Centre at Wooloongabba, from which locations they continued their important work with the collections.

The moving out process required extensive planning. It was estimated that approximately two million collection items, valued at over $74 million dollars were relocated. These items, if placed side by side, would represent 25 kilometres of collections.

During the construction phase, foundation piling commenced in September 2004 and the first major pour occurred in early 2005. The existing building was gutted and the shell expanded. The entire building process from December 2003 until November 2006 was captured on State Library's webcam with eight different views of the site recorded every half hour.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMW0YiD3QcE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKAYYdt4hgA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7wlwQFVOPs

Upon completion the new building included features such as a new 260 seat auditorium, the River Room and River Stairs, Knowledge Walk, larger reading rooms, improved archival storage, exhibition spaces and kuril dhagun, a cultural and learning space for Indigenous peoples.

State Library of Queensland viewed from below Grey Street, 2006.  John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Copyright reserved. Image 7017-0001-0002

State Library of Queensland viewed from below Grey Street, 2006.  John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Copyright reserved. Image 7017-0001-0002

South eastern view of the State Library of Queensland, South Brisbane. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Copyright reserved. Image 7017-0001-0012

South eastern view of the State Library of Queensland, South Brisbane. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Copyright reserved. Image 7017-0001-0012

The redeveloped State Library of Queensland was opened to the public on 25 November 2006.

Looking along the Knowledge Walk on the ground level of the State Library of Queensland, 2006. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Copyright reserved. 7017-0001-0015

Looking along the Knowledge Walk on the ground level of the State Library of Queensland, 2006. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Copyright reserved. 7017-0001-0015

Brisbane River viewed from the Red Box at the State Library of Queensland, 2006. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Copyright reserved. Image 7017-0001-0032

Brisbane River viewed from the Red Box at the State Library of Queensland, 2006. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Copyright reserved. Image 7017-0001-0032

Entrance gates to the Talking Circle, on the edge of the State Library of Queensland, 2006. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Copyright reserved. Image 7017-0001-0005

Entrance gates to the Talking Circle, on the edge of the State Library of Queensland, 2006. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Copyright reserved. Image 7017-0001-0005

Window of The Corner, the young children's space at State Library of Queensland, South Brisbane, 2006.  John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Copyright reserved. Image 7017-0001-0014

Window of The Corner, the young children's space at State Library of Queensland, South Brisbane, 2006.  John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Copyright reserved. Image 7017-0001-0014

In 2007 the redeveloped State Library of Queensland building, designed by Donovan Hill Peddle Thorp, was awarded Australia’s top prize for public architecture: the Royal Australian Institute of Architects' Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture.

In the coming years State Library of Queensland would host a multitude of important events including the annual Brisbane Writers' Festival and Queensland Memory Awards, as well as exhibitions such as retro-computer games in Game On, a touring exhibition from London's Barbican Art Gallery, and Transforming Tindale, an exhibition of scientific photographs and contemporary artworks, exploring the legacy of a 1938 anthropological expedition to Aboriginal communities.

Only one event during our ten years threatened our building and collections. The 2011 flood saw the Brisbane River break its banks and indundated the lower basement and carpark, causing the building’s closure for several weeks. During this period SLQ's dedicated staff assisted in the clean-up, helping restore the building to its former glory. Happily none of the collections were damaged during the crisis.

Lower levels of the State Library of Queensland and the Edge inundated by flood water. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Copyright reserved. Image 27803-0001-0188

Lower levels of the State Library of Queensland and the Edge inundated by flood water. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Copyright reserved. Image 27803-0001-0188

Library staff removing flood affected items from a storage room at the State Library of Queensland, 2011. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Copyright reserved. Image 27803-0001-0309

Library staff removing flood affected items from a storage room at the State Library of Queensland, 2011. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Copyright reserved. Image 27803-0001-0309

Join us on November 12 for a day of discovery and festivity to celebrate 10 years since State Library took on its current award-winning design, featuring markets, music, food, creative activities, exhibitions, and tours.

Myles Sinnamon - Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.
We also welcome direct feedback via Contact Us.
You may also want to ask our librarians.

Be the first to write a comment