Until the 1890s terracotta tiles were rarely used on Australian roofs.

For most of the 19th century timber shingle, corrugated iron and slate roofs were more common, though they were often topped with a terracotta chimney pot.

Federation-style suburban bungalows (as well as earlier Queen Anne revival homes) featured exposed brick, timber fretwork and terracotta on the roof. By the early 20th century, Australian suburban roofs commonly included a variety of terracotta, such as elaborate chimneys, finials, ridging and tiles.

The most popular terracotta for the roof was the moulded and interlocking Marseilles-style tile. These tiles were maintenance free, completely waterproof and good absorbers of heat. Originally manufactured in and around the French city of Marseilles, they were soon produced by Australian companies that would dominate the industry from around World War I.

Follow the signs to The Mint Reception from the front entrance of The Mint, and you will find the Library entrance nearby.

Please note that the Library's opening hours are 10am-4pm, Tuesday to Friday.


11 March 2014 - 9 July 2015