State Library of South Australia

Story Wall @ SLSA - Taking the Library from the inside – outside!

Date: 16 December 2015

The State Library of South Australia is buzzing with excitement with the official launch of our Story Wall. The buzz has extended beyond the Library with an unprecedented response from the community and media. The news even reached the shores of the United States of America through the American Libraries Association.

Story Wall at SLSA Colonel William Light announces the opening of the Story Wall
Story Wall @ SLSA – Colonel William Light announces the opening of the Story Wall

The first of its kind on any cultural institution in Australia, the Story Wall is an exciting new state-of-the-art architectural projection. It uses imagery and sound to tell stories exclusively from the Library's collections, treasures and exhibitions. When the Library closes for the day and the lights go out, the State Library Forecourt comes alive with fascinating stories, characters, history and hidden gems projecting onto the exterior wall of our historic Institute Building.

The Story Wall concept - taking the Library from the inside to outside - started nearly two years ago and has been made possible through bequest funds. This new exhibition experience adds a different dimension for the researcher, library user, student and particularly the community.

We have a long and proud tradition of connecting people with the rich history of this State. The use of cutting-edge technology connects people of all ages, who may not have entered the Library till now, in a unique and creatively engaging way.

About the Stories

The stories told are all unique to South Australia and come from our collections. For example, who would believe that from a small trunk full of books, collected by Robert Gouger, that the State Library's collections would be born. The story goes that the trunk fell in the water at Port Misery but the books survived. Today some of those books can be seen in our Mortlock Chamber.

Perhaps you haven't heard about our much-loved Bob the Railway Dog. He became one of the wonders of his time travelling by train all over South Australia. He even went as far as Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane travelling on the trains. Bob always found a welcome meal and a place to sleep with the train drivers and their families.

Story Wall at SLSA Bob the Railway Dog
Story Wall @ SLSA - Bob the Railway Dog

Or did you know that the State Library has 55 kilometres of storage shelves in the basement where the majority of our collections are held. We hold letters written by Colonel William Light where he describes his vision and plan for the City of Adelaide. Stories of Christmas Pageant memories and pop-up books are also being shared.

Each of these stories and more has been brought to life with sound and creative imagery by Cindi Drennan and her team at Illuminart.

In the same way a reader seeks out new books to read, the Story Wall will be progressively updated to bring new and exciting stories to encourage people to come inside and find out more. New stories about Red Cross Letters, Leo Terrell and Festivalia are currently being crafted and are planned for release in February 2016.

Screening times

The Library Forecourt illuminates from sunset to midnight, every night of the year, when the Story Wall starts playing.

Total viewing time for the Story Wall is 24.5 minutes and continues to show on a loop.

The Story Wall is a permanent architectural projection.

Connect with us

Like our Story Wall Facebook page to keep up-to-date with the Story Wall's latest news, exciting developments or to ask us a question or tell us what you think.

Story by Tracey Parnis

Back to extra - Summer 2015 - the stories

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