This exhibition highlights some of the letters, diaries and documents in the collections of the State Library of South Australia, including items by world figures and people making their own path.
See a Lord-Lieutenant’s commission signed by Queen Elizabeth I, a letter from Lord Nelson in 1798 describing the ‘ladies at Bath’, to a scandalous shipboard diary of a journey to Adelaide in 1838, the first letter in the Pitjantjatjara language, and a diary written by Don McLaren who was a prisoner of war during World War Two. Also on display is an 1839 ‘crossed letter’ from new migrant, John Kelly, to his mother in Scotland. Quite common during the 19th century as a way to save on postage charges and to save paper, a ‘crossed letter’ has one set of writing over the other at right angles.
View this exhibition on the Digital Collections website.
Image caption: A ‘crossed letter’ written by John Kelly to his mother, sisters and brother, 1839, State Library of South Australia collection [PRG 481/1/1].
How do I get to the State Library by public transport?
The 'State Library, Art Gallery, Museum' tram-stop is just outside the State Library. There are bus stops close by near the War Memorial on North Terrace. The closest train station is the Adelaide city station on North Terrace.
You can plan your journey via Adelaide Metro.
Is there car parking near the State Library?
The nearest car park is Wilson's Adelaide Central car park, 225 North Terrace, next to David Jones.
There is paid metered street parking along Kintore Ave and Victoria Drive.
Where is the wheelchair and stroller access?
Access to the Spence Wing first floor and the Mortlock Wing is via the lift in the glass foyer entrance of the library.
Access to the Institute Building is via the external ramp on the Kintore Ave entrance or via the internal ramp between the Institute Building and the Spence Wing (opposite the Treasures Wall).
There is on-street disabled parking available in the nearby roads. View more information and maps of Adelaide City Council's Disability parking for permit holders.
How do I check if the Mortlock Chamber is open when I plan to visit?
The Mortlock Wing and Treasures Wall are venues for hire and subject to occasional closures due to functions and special events, please check our Open Hours for any venue closures on the day of your tour to avoid disappointment.
Is there a cafe at the State Library?
There is a cafe located in the back of the glass foyer at the State Library. View more information about the cafe and tenants.