This photo of the State Library of New South Wales was taken before it moved to its current location on Macquarie Street. The first stage of the current Library, the Mitchell building, opened in 1910. Before then readers made their way to the corner of Bent and Macquarie streets to the elegant but rather ramshackle Free Public Library. This had been built in 1848 for the Australian Subscription Library, which the State bought in 1869 along with its premises and collections. By the 1880s, the Library was receiving 150,000 visitors a year.