Back to places

Drysdale Free Library


Working Heritage acknowledges that the Drysdale Free Library is situated on the land of the Wadawurrung People and that the building’s history is inextricably tied to the area’s history of colonisation and dispossession. The building is situated on land that is viewed as Crown Land by the State and unceded Country by the Wadawurrung. For the Wadawurrung, colonisation had a devastating impact on all aspects of their life including culture, language and traditions. While much of the consequences of this history are still being felt, the ongoing work of the Wadawurrung People is a testament to the cultural strength and resilience that has aided their survival. It is Working Heritage’s intent to confront the reality of colonisation and make genuine steps towards reconciliation. 

The Property

The Drysdale Free Library was opened in 1881 as part of the movement to make adult learning accessible and available for working-class men in the second part of the 19th century. Along with the Library sited at the front of the property, a meeting hall was subsequently added to the rear of the building.

Working Heritage was appointed to manage the site in 2004 and has undertaken major conservation, repair and accessibility improvement works to the building.

Current Use

Visiting the Site

  • The property is consistently open to the public via the Craft Shop, which is open seven days a week, and via community events occurring through the Scouts Group.
  • The hall at the rear of the property is available to rent through the 1st Drysdale Scout Group.