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Library Newspaper Stand #1999-0674Parliamentary Library, North Wing, Main Floor

Maple newspaper stand; sloped top with lower lip, resting on triangular fielded panels and a plain frieze with shaped blocks; lower section comprised of nine arched open compartments, with panelled sides.


This newspaper stand was initially located in the Parliamentary Library where it was used in the Provisional Parliament House between 1927 and 1988. It was designed in 1926 by the Federal Capital Commission Architects Department, led by principal architect John Smith Murdoch, specifically for the Provisional Parliament House. This newspaper stand has nine shelves that were used for storing daily newspapers, and a large slope on the top to allow space to spread out and read the newspapers.

This newspaper stand was one of several that occupied a room in the Parliamentary Library that was dedicated to newspapers and periodicals. This room was filled with newspaper stands and two large octagonal tables (2001-1047) to display these publications.

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Statement of values

This newspaper stand is a significant item of furniture through its association with the Parliamentary Library. The design of the building and its layout, its curtilage and its interior rooms all demonstrate the customs and functions of the Commonwealth Parliament. This newspaper stand was used in the Parliamentary Library which, as demonstrated by its position within the building (centrally located behind King?s Hall and between the Chambers), held an important function for Parliament.

This library newspaper stand is significant as a component of the Heritage Collection, which comprises those pieces of furniture which were used in the Provisional Parliament House between 1924 and 1988. The collection has associations with the process of government, the ceremonial, administrative, promotional and recreational functions conducted within the building, and with the individuals who governed Australia between 1927 and 1988. The building is a primary example of the Inter War Stripped Classical style of architecture prominent in Canberra’s government architecture of the 1920’s to 1940’s. The characteristic expression of the building’s style is due to the design work of the Commonwealth’s first government architect, John Smith Murdoch. The Old Parliament House building has a richness of internal fabric and collections, which include the purpose designed furniture and furnishings, that convey the way in which parliamentary functions were conducted, the everyday use of the building, and the hierarchical nature of parliamentary staffing practices. This furniture is significant as it has remained within the building for which it was designed.

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Width 2160mm
Height 1290mm
Depth 870mm
Medium Maple; timber
Creator’s name Federal Capital Commission Architects Department
Date created 1926