Approaching its 181st birthday in November, the Melbourne Athenaeum is living through its third pandemic.
CBD News recently featured them in an article about how they’ve navigated the past several months.
Read the article here >>
About the Melbourne Athenaeum Library:
Much of Melbourne’s standing as Australia’s cultural capital can be traced back to the Melbourne Athenaeum. Founded in 1839 as the Melbourne Mechanics’ Institution, it housed Melbourne’s first subscription library and reading room, an art gallery and a museum, and hosted many public meetings, balls and lectures. The building hosted premieres of the first feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang, and the first ‘talkie’, The Jazz Singer, and the stage has been graced by luminaries including Sir Laurence Olivier, Dame Nellie Melba and Barry Humphries.
Today, the building is still home to two busy theatres, the Bistrot d’Orsay restaurant, and the Melbourne Athenaeum Library. The library, on Level 1, has Victoria’s finest crime fiction and biography collections, an expanding eBook range, and the latest books, audiobooks and magazines. For a modest yearly subscription of $99 ($89 concession), members enjoy regular live music performances, a variety of engaging talks, book and screen clubs and free wifi. The library was renovated in 2020 and is a unique, warm and welcoming oasis in the heart of the city.
(Photo depicts the Melbourne Athenaeum Library in 1957)