All Events

Public events at the State Library include talks on literary, historical and contemporary issues, movies, workshops and courses as well as presentations about, and showings of, the Library's rich collections.

You can also listen to selected talks online.

Payment Policy

All listed prices include GST. There is a 20% cancellation fee for events that are over $50 cancelled within 48 hours of an event. No refund applies to events under $50. If payment has not been received, unclaimed tickets will be sold 15 minutes after the event commences.

Thea

Saturday 23 August, 2.00 PM

Talk: Honouring Thea Astley

In its annual Honouring Australian Writers series, the NSW Writers’ Centre and the
State Library pay tribute to writers who have made an important contribution to our literary culture.
Cover

Tuesday 26 August, 12.30 PM

Talk: Bitesize Lunchtime Talk: "Almost Invincible" with Suzanne Burdon

Suzanne Burdon talks about her new book, Almost Invincible: A Biographical Novel of Mary Shelley. Join Suzanne as she charts the unconventional life of Shelley, author of the ground-breaking novel Frankenstein. Burdon charts Shelley’s life as she travels across Europe with her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley and her stepsister Claire, an ever present third person in the relationship.

Justice Michael Pembroke

Wednesday 27 August, 6.00 PM

Talk: Arthur Phillip: Sailor, Mercenary, Governor, Spy With Justice Michael Pembroke (SOLD OUT)

On the bicentenary of Admiral Arthur Phillip’s death, author Justice Michael Pembroke discusses Phillip’s extraordinary life. In his time Phillip journeyed across the world from England to France, crossing Spain to Brazil and onto Australia. Along the way he was employed by the English government as a spy and travelled far and wide on secret missions. Join Michael as he tells the unique story of this fascinating historical figure.

Film

Thursday 28 August, 12.00 PM

Movie: 1914 The War Revolution

Free Movies on Macquarie!
As the armies of Europe mobilised to prepare for the Great War, military experts predicted that this would be a war fought by cavalry. Why then did it end up being fought in the trenches? Why was this the first — and last — trench war the world would see?
Arthur Phillip

Thursday 28 August, 6.00 PM

Special event: Out of the Vaults: Governor Arthur Phillip (SOLD OUT)

Appointed as the first Governor of the colony of New South Wales, Arthur Phillip died on 31 August 1814. Join us as we commemorate the 200th anniversary of his death. Curator Louise Anemaat will present a selection of items from the Library’s collections which document Phillips’ role in the early years of the colony. Included will be a letter dated 3 July 1788 from Arthur Phillip to the Marquis of Lansdowne, in which he states that Port Jackson is ‘a more eligible Situation for the Colony, & being without exception the finest Harbour in the World’

This event is part of the Out of the Vaults series.

Image: Family history tree

Friday 29 August, 10.30 AM

Workshop: Searching your family history on Ancestry (BOOKED OUT)

This workshop is now booked out.

Ancestry contains an incredible amount of information, but are you getting lost in it? This is a hands-on workshop that teaches you how to search Ancestry in the most effective way. Basic computing skills are required.

This event is part of the National Family History Month series.

Image: family history tree

Friday 29 August, 2.00 PM

Talk: Newspapers for family history (BOOKED OUT)

This talk is fully booked.

Newspapers contain a wealth of information for family history, you can find birth, death and marriage notices, shipping intelligence and court news. Learn what newspaper resources the Library has and how to access them.

This event is part of the National Family History Month series.

Poster

Sunday 31 August, 2.00 PM

Movie: All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) is the first major anti-war film of the sound era, faithfully based upon the timeless, best-selling 1929 novel by Erich Maria Remarque (who had experienced the war first-hand as a young German soldier). The landmark, epic film, made on a large-scale budget of $1.25 million for Universal Pictures and won the Academy Award for Best Picture (the third winner in the history of AMPAS) and Best Director (Lewis Milestone with his first sound feature)  and it was also nominated for Best Writing Achievement (George Abbott, Maxwell Anderson, and Del Andrews) and Best Cinematography (Arthur Edeson). It was a critical and financial success, and probably the greatest of pacifist, anti-war films - the grainy black and white film is still not dated and the film hasn't lost its initial impact.

This event is part of the Silent Film Festival series.

John Macarthur

Tuesday 2 September, 11.00 AM

Talk: Scholarly Musings - Patrick Dodd: 'John Macarthur - Visionary or Villain'?

Macarthur is remembered by most people for laying the foundations of the great Australian wool industry. In fact he spent so much time away from home fighting Governors and facing a court martial in England his practical achievements owe a very great deal to the persistence and loyalty of his wife and sons. He was a complex character. Some saw him as scheming and devious with disdain for any official who dared to thwart his ambitions. Others saw him as a brilliant publicist and organiser who did much to focus and promote attention to the potential of the colony. He achieved a great deal but his combative temperament, and a debilitating illness contracted on his way to Australia, prevented him from achieving much more.

This event is part of the Scholarly Musings series.

Windsor

Thursday 4 September, 5.00 PM

Talk: The Price of Independence

Independent Scholars Association of Australia, NSW Chapter, in association with The State Library of NSW, present a conversation between Tony Windsor and Cheryl Kernot.

Thoreau writes: 'I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than to be crowded on a velvet cushion.' But does independence always betoken freedom and does it come at a price?

Mitchell

Friday 5 September, 6.00 PM

Special event: 2014 NSW Premier's History Awards Presentation and launch of History Week

Join shortlisted authors, historians, publishers and producers in a glittering celebration of excellence in the interpretation of history through the written word and non-print media.
old sydney

Wednesday 10 September, 10.30 AM

Talk: Rediscovering Old Sydney

Join State Library staff and take a look at the shifting fortunes of an inner-Sydney locality. From oral histories to manuscripts, maps and photographs, there are many ways to uncover the history of a particular place. Practise using the Library’s catalogues and other search tools, and discover the varied formats that can be researched to discover old Sydney. Unique collection items will be on display.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

SRL verandah

Thursday 11 September, 10.30 AM

Workshop: Where do I start? Library Website & Catalogues

This hands-on workshop provides an overview of the services and resources available from the State Library website. Explore highlights of the Library’s collections, take a guided tour of the catalogues and browse our exhibitions and events. Basic computing skills are required

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

trove logo

Wednesday 17 September, 10.30 AM

Workshop: Treasures of Trove

This hands-on workshop provides an introduction to the unrivalled repository of Australian and online resources available from the Trove website. Search books, images, maps, music, archives and more. Learn how to access digitised newspapers and local history information on Trove and how to sign up and add comments, edit text and tag articles.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

Image of Princess Fawzia, sister of King Farouk

Tuesday 23 September, 6.00 PM

Talk: The Fall of the last Royal House of Egypt and the First Revolution, July 1952

King Farouk of Egypt's cataclysmic last 3 days is the subject of this hour long journey back to a now mythical, lost, forgotten world, even to the Egyptians. The first Egyptian revolution in 1952 saw the end of the last royal house of Egypt, the most glamorous court in the East or anywhere since Versailles. Lorenzo Montesini takes you back to that exotic country called the past, when Egypt and the Middle East changed direction impacting history in the wider world.

Wednesday 1 October, 10.30 AM

Workshop: Reading Yesterday's News

Join us for this hands-on workshop and discover how to find newspapers in our computer catalogue, via our electronic databases and on the internet. Find out how you can access newspaper databases at home using your Library card. View a historic newspaper from the collection. Basic computing skills are required.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

South Sea Whale Fishery

Tuesday 7 October, 11.00 AM

Talk: Scholarly Musings - Stephen Martin: The work and papers of Dr William Dawbin, whaling historian and cetacean scientist.

Stephen Martin talks about the work and papers of Dr William Dawbin, whaling historian and cetacean scientist. For the last half of the twentieth century, Dawbin was a respected and authoritative member of the scientific community, contributing information and analysis on whaling history and biology to his colleagues and to the formal institutions then controlling whaling. For many years he was a member of the scientific committee of the International Whaling Commission, and worked to provide accurate assessments of the whaling catch and its viability. Perhaps his most significant contribution was the plotting of the tempo and make up of the humpback whale migrations that annually embrace the coasts of New Zealand and Australia. After the banning of whaling, Dawbin was a central figure in the flow of information about the surveys and sightings that described the slow return in numbers of humpback whales in Australasian waters.

This event is part of the Scholarly Musings series.

eresources

Thursday 9 October, 10.30 AM

Workshop: Where do I start? eResources 

This hands-on workshop highlights the online resources available via the State Library website. Learn how to access ebooks, local and international newspapers, reference works, full-text magazines and more. Basic computing skills are required.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

social media

Friday 10 October, 10.30 AM

Course: Social Media for Beginners

See the world in a new way! Explore Instagram and Pinterest. Learn how to capture and share pictures or video, choose a filter and post to Instagram. Also learn how to create a board and organise the things you love using Pinterest. You will need an email or Facebook account before attending the course. Basic computing skills are required.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

documents

Friday 17 October, 10.30 AM

Workshop: Starting Family History Research at the State Library

Family history can reveal surprising and sometimes moving lost stories that enhance an individual's understanding of who they are. Family history librarians will provide an introductory program on the State Library’s diverse family history collections. Rarely seen collection items will be on display.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

Mr Howard Vernon

Tuesday 4 November, 11.00 AM

Talk: Scholarly Musings - Dr Kevin Hewitt: Howard Vernon (1848-1921)

Howard Vernon (1848-1921), the stage name of John Lett, was a major star of the Australasian musical stage. His professional career took him overseas in the late 1870s, primarily to Asia, while garnering some experience with companies in the United Kingdom and California before he returned to Australia and was contracted to JC Williamson, with whom he would be associated mainly in the Gilbert and Sullivan operas for most of the next twenty-five years.
Vernon's career offers a prime example of the energy and adaptability required to survive in the colonial theatre. Kevin Hewitt has been retired for some 12 years in which time he has been able to indulge his passion for Gilbert and Sullivan which culminated in the conferring of a PhD in 2012 through Sydney University on the life of Vernon. He has been a volunteer at the State Library since his retirement.

This event is part of the Scholarly Musings series.

keyboard

Friday 7 November, 10.30 AM

Course: The Art of Searching Online

There is more to Google searching than you think! This hands-on session will help you develop the skills to get the best online results. Learn the art of keyword choice, how to use search operators and explore additional tools and functions available within Google search.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

70s women

Wednesday 12 November, 10.30 AM

Talk: Reliving the 70s

The 1970s was a decade of great change in Australia with developments in women’s rights, Indigenous rights, politics, music and fashion. Dig out those flares and platform shoes and come along to see and hear about some of the highlights from our collections.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

State Library

Thursday 13 November, 10.30 AM

Talk: Where do I start? Discover the State Library

For the first-time user, this talk introduces the fantastic services and collections available at the State Library and provides a good idea of where to begin research.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

Celebrating 75 Years

Tuesday 18 November, 9.00 AM

Seminar: Libraries for the People: the 11th Australian Library History Forum 18 - 19 November

2014 marks the 75th anniversary of the NSW Library Act 1939. The Library Act 1939 was passed by State Parliament on 3 November 1939 and led to the provision of free public library services for the people of NSW.

In recognition of the anniversary of the passing of this landmark legislation, this year’s forum will focus on the development of public libraries in Australia. Topics will include governance and legislation, personalities, services to indigenous communities, library referenda and public library predecessors and competitors.

Please note this seminar runs over two days.

Tuesday 18 November, 10.30 AM

Talk: Christmas in the Colony

Join us for a festive show and tell and discover how Christmas was celebrated in the colonies. Which traditions linger and which have faded away? Examples from the collections tell their own story of the time with references to the warm weather and local flora and fauna. See original newspapers, pictures and Christmas cards held in the Library’s rich collections.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

camera

Thursday 20 November, 10.30 AM

Workshop: Preserving Your Family History: Digital Media

A seminar dedicated to the long-term care of digital media. The emphasis will be on the vulnerability of different digital formats and tips on preservation strategies that aim to achieve archival storage.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

social networking

Tuesday 2 December, 10.30 AM

Course: Social Networking for Beginners

Communicate with friends and family and make new contacts using two of the most popular social networking sites on the web: Facebook and Twitter. Set up a Facebook page and a Twitter account. You will need an email account before attending the course. Basic computing skills are required.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

SRL verandah

Thursday 11 December, 10.30 AM

Workshop: Where do I start? Library Website & Catalogues

This hands-on workshop provides an overview of the services and resources available from the State Library website. Explore highlights of the Library’s collections, take a guided tour of the catalogues and browse our exhibitions and events. Basic computing skills are required

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

Quick Links

The State Library provides a free Information Request Service.

Macquarie St, Sydney
NSW 2000, Australia
Tel: (02) 9273 1414

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