Cunningham Martyn Design has been awarded the tender to design the National Library of Australia’s new Treasures Gallery and Exhibition Gallery which are scheduled to open late next year.

CMD, which is based in Melbourne, will reveal details of the design later this year. Some of CMD’s previous projects include the Conflicts 1945 to today and World War II Galleries at the Australian War Memorial and the National Sports Museum at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

More than $3 million has already been raised by private donors and sponsors for the Treasures Gallery project which, when it opens, will put on public display many of the National Library’s prized items, including Lieutenant James Cook’s Endeavour Journal, stunning images by John Hunter and Ellis Rowan, a letter from Jane Austen to her sister, a draft of Kenneth Slessor’s Five Bells, a page from the Gutenberg bible, a letter from Charles Darwin and a hand-drawn map by Eddie Mabo.

“Announcing the designers for this exciting project marks a special time in the history of the National Library of Australia,” Director-General Jan Fullerton said.

“It is the first step in a process which will result in the permanent exhibition of many of our treasures – treasures that belong to all Australians.”

Some of the items to go on show in the new gallery are currently featured in Treasures 2010: A Preview, a free exhibition which is open at the National Library daily until 19 July.

Director of Exhibitions at the National Library, Nat Williams, is available for interview.

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