Giant Christmas tree to light up the State Library this festive season

christmas tree mortlock library
Adelaide’s largest indoor Christmas tree will light up for the first time this festive season on Pageant Day at the State Library of South Australia.

Located in the iconic Mortlock Chamber, the 7-metre-tall Christmas tree will be launched at 9am on Saturday November 12 to coincide with the 2022 Christmas Pageant.

Powered by SA Power Networks, the giant Christmas tree stretches to the height of the first level of the Mortlock.

christmas tree mortlock library

Christmas program at the State Library

A traditional Christmas-themed display from the State Library’s Children’s Literature Research Collection and a book gifting partnership with leading not for profit organisation, Raising Literacy Australia are among the key highlights of the Christmas program.

State Library of South Australia Director Geoff Strempel said:

Christmas at the Mortlock is a magical time of year to visit to State Library.

“We look forward to welcoming families to the Library to see the spectacular display in the Mortlock. This is a must-see experience for festive season lovers of all ages and we are delighted to create some holiday magic and spread the Christmas cheer once again.

The Christmas-themed display from the library’s rich Children’s Literature Research Collection consists of over 70,000 items from around the world.

The display, which is themed to reflect past Christmas traditions in different countries features traditional Christmas games, toys and books, including a moveable pop-up book Father Christmas (1961) by famed Czechoslovakian paper artist Vojtěch Kubašta (b. 1914 Vienna, d. 1992 Prague).

close up christmas tree

Supporting Raising Literacy Australia

As part of the Christmas tree display, the State Library of South Australia have partnered with Raising Literacy Australia to support one of its vital early years literacy programs, Read to Me.

The partnership with the State Library focuses on the ‘Buy a Book, Gift a Book’ initiative which will directly benefit South Australian children in out of home care through the Read to Me program. Read to Me provides these children with regular deliveries of books, resources and activities, supporting their development in the critical early years. Receiving no government funding, Read to Me relies entirely on the generosity of the public.

Mr Strempel adds, “We encourage visitors to the Library’s Christmas tree display to pledge their support by buying a book for a friend or family member, plus one or more for a vulnerable child. We are calling on visitors to the State Library to help spread the Christmas cheer to vulnerable and disadvantaged children with the purchase of a book to support their literacy development.”

reading nook in state library

Key activities as part of the Christmas tree display in the Mortlock include:

  • Pageant Day performance – Adelaide vocal ensemble Choral Grief will perform at 11am under the giant Christmas tree on Saturday November 12
  • Christmas reading nook – visitors can take time out to read a book in a festive-themed reading nook.
  • Christmas story telling – join local authors from Raising Literacy Australia and storytellers to share their favourite Christmas stories under the giant Christmas tree at 11am daily from Monday December 19 until Friday December 23.
  • Christmas craft – help decorate a Christmas tree by colouring and hanging a Christmas ornament inspired by the images from the Kubašta pop-up book.
  • School choir performances – School choirs will fill the Mortlock with Christmas joy with a series of performances from Monday December 5 until Friday December 9 at 12 noon and 1.30pm.


The Christmas tree in the Mortlock Wing in the State Library of South Australia will open at 9am on Saturday November 12 and runs through until Sunday January 8.

For more information:

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