E.J.T. Tippett Library

Ballarat School of Mines (SMB) Campus

The former Ballarat Gaol was demolished in 1968 to allow the Ballarat School of Mines (SMB) to develop and spread out. In 1977 the SMB library was built on the former Ballarat Gaol site, with the main entrance through the gaol gate.

In 1872, the SMB library commenced with 106 volumes of donated materials including maps and books. the first collection of books was assembled at the School on the arrival of package from Sir Roderick Murchison, Head of the Royal School of Mines, London in 1870. Also Robert Brough Smyth, Secretary of the Department of Mines, donated a copy of his work "Goldfields and Mineral District of Victoria".

By 1875, the library materials were housed in a Mathematics classroom which contained periodicals and standard reference works on scientific and technical subjects. The room also displayed wax models of several Colonial governors and the explorer Leichhardt.

The main building was converted into a central library and reading room in 1885. It was available to the students and the community. At the time, the library was still without any library staff, trained or not trained. In 1916, most of the books were transferred from the Mathematics room to the Engineering lecture room and the textbooks to the laboratories. By 1946, the School was still without a well stocked library.  Therefore, a keen committee took steps to establish a library in the Assay department. It was stocked with huge number of textbooks and furniture was donated from various departments.

In 1947, after the relocation of the Electrical department, a large room in the main building [now the Administration Building] overlooking the historic botanical gardens became available. More books came from different departments and by the end of 1947, 200 pounds was donated to the library. This enabled furnishing the room with chairs, bookshelves, curtains and linoleum. At that time, a trained librarian, Ailsa Praetz, was appointed.

In February 1985, the first sod for the new building was turned by the Minister for Planning and the Environment, the Hon. Evan Walker, M.P. The overall responsibility for the building rested with the Public Works Department in association with the SMB Campus architect, Ewan Jones & Associates and the builder, S. J. Weir Pty. Ltd. They put together the facility that is both functional and of a style that merges with the surrounding architecture. The new building opened in 1986.

Pam Merrett started working at the SMB library in 1983. She remembers moving all the books from the old library which was situated on the first floor of the Governor's Residence. They hired tiling contractors with a conveyor belt to transport the books from the first floor down to the courtyard for transferral to the new library building. The library staff and cleaners had one day and one night to move all the books and shelve them before the official opening the next day.

Edgar John Tippett, was a benefactor of the School of Mines, a member of the School Council since 1934 to 1960, and the President of the School of Mines for twenty years (1940-1960).

In the 1990s the E.J.T. Tippett Library had holdings of 28,500 monographs and Audio Visual material, and a limited number of periodicals. The main collection included Art, Business, Child Care and Development, Horticulture, Hospitality, Social and Community Studies. The Barkly Street Campus was closed and the library materials returned to E.J.T. Tippett Library. 

Aerial view of SMB, c1965 showing the old Gaol site in Lydiard Street South

Aerial view of SMB, c1965 showing the old Gaol site in Lydiard Street South (Cat. No. 3824) 

The old Gaol site under demolition

The old Gaol site under demolition. (Cat. No. 7702.6)
Plaque showing the opening of E.J.T Tippett Library

Plaque showing the opening of E.J.T Tippett Library.(Cat. No. 7194)

This image is showing Mr W. [Bill] Gribble giving a speach and Joan Kirner Premier of Victoria, Mr E.J.[Jack] Barker, ? sitting behind him in the reading room inside the E.J.Tippett Library

This image is showing Mr W. [Bill] Gribble giving a speach and Joan Kirner Premier of Victoria, Mr E.J.[Jack] Barker, sitting behind him in the reading room inside the E.J.Tippett Library. (Cat. No. 1323)
This image is showing the outside entrance to the E.J.T Tippett Library SMB
 
This image is showing the outside entrance to the E.J.T Tippett Library SMB: (Cat. No. 6957.4)

This image is showing Grant Street view of the E.J.Tippett Library SMB

This image is showing Grant Street view of the E.J.Tippett Library SMB. (Cat. No. 6957.2)