Australian Subscription Library and Reading Room

Building on the corner of Bent and Macquarie Streets constructed in 1845 to house the Australian Subscription Library. The subscription library ran into financial difficulties and was taken over by the state government to became the Sydney Free Public Library in 1869. An addition to the building was made in the 1880s as the collection and number of readers grew. In 1895 the name changed again to the Public Library of New South Wales. The  Public Library collection and staff moved to the new extension of the Mitchell Library building in 1942 . The building on Bent Street was demolished in 1969.

1844 - 1845
Superseded by
Occupied by
1845 - 1869

Free Public Library


The Free Public Library - which we now know as the State Library of NSW - arose from the ashes of the Australian Library and Literary Institution and its immediate predecessor, the Australian Subscription Library.