Canberra-based builder Manteena Pty Ltd has won the major contract to redevelop the ground floor of the National Library of Australia building, including the construction of two new state-of-the-art exhibition galleries.

The work will include a Treasures Gallery which will showcase many of the Library’s prized collections, including James Cook’s Endeavour Journal, while the adjacent Exhibition Gallery will play host to the best collections from the Library as well as from other institutions in Australia and overseas.

Acting Director-General of the National Library Dr Warwick Cathro said work would start on the project immediately.

‘Construction of the new galleries and Main Reading Room refurbishment marks an exciting time for the National Library,’ Dr Cathro said.

‘Having these two new galleries open to the public will allow us to place many of our treasures on permanent public display for everyone to enjoy,’ he said.

‘The decision to build these new galleries is a direct result of the success of Treasures from the World’s Greatest Libraries (2001-2002) where we had people queuing outside the building overnight to see the exhibition and the National Treasures from Australia’s Great Libraries (2005-2006) exhibition which also drew huge crowds.’

Dr Cathro said the construction project had been made possible through the generous donation of National Library supporters and donors.

The successful construction contractor, Manteena Pty Ltd, worked on the recent podium refurbishment of the National Library and on major extensions at the National Gallery of Australia.

Construction on the National Library project is expected to be completed by late 2011.

Media Contact:
Sally Hopman, Media Liaison Manager
National Library of Australia
T: 02 6262 1704
M: 0401 226 697