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Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams / Russell Byers / John Huth

Carved doors to the State Library were given by William Dixson in honour of David Scott Mitchell (1836-1907), book collector and national benefactor after whom the Mitchell Library is named.

Mitchell who had independent means had been reared in a cultivated household; never robust, he preferred books and intellectual interests to business or politics. By 1866 he had won some repute for scholarship in English literature and for the next twenty years he collected mainly English literary works, including many fine editions which in 1900 exceeded 10,000 volumes. From about 1886, probably encouraged by George Robertson, he turned almost solely to the record of Australia and its surrounding region.

His aim, not merely comprehensive but exhaustive, was to gather a copy of every document he could that related to Australia and also to the Pacific, the East Indies and Antarctica. Mitchell died on 24 July 1907 and bequeathed to the library trustees his entire collection with an endowment of £70,000. He left as his one main memorial the Mitchell Library in Sydney. When opened on 8 March 1910 it had some 60,000 volumes and much other material. It remains unrivalled in its field and is one of the great national collections in the world.

The Government has accepted an offer of Mr. W. P. Dixson, well-known Sydney business man, to provide £4,000 to meet the cost of a pair of bronzed entrance doors to the proposed new National Library. The doors will be a memorial to David Scott Mitchell, after whom the present Mitchell Library was named.
The Canberra Times, 20th September 1934.

The new Public Library, tenders for which have been called, will, it is considered, be the most commodious and up-to-date building of the kind in Australia when it is completed within three years. The plans for the new building which is estimated to cost £10,000 show that it will be constructed in harmony with the present Mitchell Library which will become a wing of the new structure.  The three main entrance doors which will be of richly ornamented bronze and which will be presented by Mr William Dixson, the donor of the Dixson collection of Australiana, will give access to the main vestibule.
The Sydney Morning Herald , 22nd September 1938.



Address:Shakespeare Place , State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.866101
Long: 151.21326
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People
Link: http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/adbonl…


Front Inscription

         IN HONOUR OF 

Source: MA
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