The first libraries consisted of of the —the in discovered in , some dating back to 2600 BC. Private or personal libraries made up of written books appeared in in the 5th century BC. In the 6th century, at the very close of the , the great libraries of the Mediterranean world remained those of and .
The first public library in was the Melbourne Public Library (now the ), which opened in 1856, just a few years after their introduction into Britain. This was however purely a reference library. In September 1869, the (NSW) government opened as the Free Public Library, Sydney (now the ) by purchasing a bankrupt subscription library. In 1896, the Public Library was established. The Library's collection, purchased by the Government from the private collection of . In 1935 the was established in New South Wales advocating for free public libraries to be supported by municipal authorities.
Quick access to online documentation.
Find out more about the National First Ladies Library.
The Redwood Library and Athenaeum was founded in 1747 by a group led by Abraham Redwood. It was the first library in Rhode Island and the oldest lending library in America. Over half of its volumes were lost when it was used as the British Officers Club during the . An effort was made to replace the original collection. Over 90% of the volumes lost were returned. The library is still in use.
The first libraries consisted of of the —the in discovered in temple rooms in , some dating back to 2600 BC. These archives, which mainly consisted of the records of commercial transactions or inventories, mark the end of and the start of .