With a magnificent setting at Circular Quay near the ferry wharf, the Customs House Library is set within one of Sydney’s finest historical landmarks. It was constructed from 1844 to 1845 to serve as the headquarters of the Customs Service before becoming a venue for exhibitions and functions in 1990. Since 2003, it has been home to the City of Sydney Library, which is set across three levels in the heritage-listed building.
Step inside the entrance to see a 4.2m x 9.5m scale model of Sydney's city center on the ground floor, which is viewed through a glass floor and can be literally walked over. You can also view photographs of the building throughout its history as one of Sydney’s undisputed icons.
The Customs House Library is renowned for its fusion of both contemporary and traditional design features, with a grand, timber-lined reading room on the second floor to relax in. Take advantage of the complimentary Wi-Fi to catch up on emails and social media, with public access computers if you don’t have your own.
Grab a local or international newspaper to see what’s happening in the news or just peruse some of the more than 50,000 items in the collection. The Customs House Library also offers scanning, printing and photocopying facilities and hosts regular exhibitions and cultural events throughout the calendar year.
The library is open seven days (except public holidays), although its magnificent Georgian sandstone architecture can be admired at any time from outside and is particularly impressive when lit up at night.