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.

Don McCullin

Thursday 2 October, 6.00 PM

Movie: McCullin (2012): Documentary film screening

To many, Don McCullin is the greatest living war photographer, often cited as an inspiration for today's photojournalists. In this fascinating documentary McCullin speaks candidly about his three-decade career covering wars and humanitarian disasters on virtually every continent and the photographs that often defined historic moments. Exploring not only McCullin's life and work, but how the ethos of journalism has changed throughout his career, the film is a commentary on the history of photojournalism told through the lens of one of its most acclaimed photographers.

In association with the Don McCullin: The Impossible Peace exhibition.

Luke Pearson

Saturday 4 October, 2.00 PM

Talk: Indigenous Voices: Speaking out and changing the conversation

Join us for a panel discussion on indigenous voices in our community and their identity online, where they're telling indigenous stories their way and using social media to help close the gap.
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.

McC6108_BerlinWall_005

Thursday 9 October, 6.00 PM

Talk: War Photography: Panel discussion

This panel discussion will look at the history and relevance of war photography. The talk will be moderated by leading commentator and international journalist, Alison Stieven-Taylor, author of the widely read blog Photojournalism Now and feature internationally renowned photojournalists Stephen Dupont and Tim Page. Join them as they discuss their experiences in the field, the history of war photography and the ethical dilemmas they face in their working lives.

In association with the Don McCullin: The Impossible Peace exhibition.

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.

Don McCullin

Saturday 11 October, 2.00 PM

Movie: McCullin (2012): Documentary film screening

To many, Don McCullin is the greatest living war photographer, often cited as an inspiration for today's photojournalists. In this fascinating documentary McCullin speaks candidly about his three-decade career covering wars and humanitarian disasters on virtually every continent and the photographs that often defined historic moments. Exploring not only McCullin's life and work, but how the ethos of journalism has changed throughout his career, the film is a commentary on the history of photojournalism told through the lens of one of its most acclaimed photographers.

In association with the Don McCullin: The Impossible Peace exhibition.

Oscar Wilde

Monday 13 October, 11.00 AM

Talk: The Importance of Being Oscar: The Life and Works of Oscar Wilde with Susannah Fullerton

Join popular literary expert Susannah Fullerton for a two-part lecture series on Oscar Wilde. ‘Somehow or other I’ll be famous, and if not famous, I’ll be notorious,’ declared the young Oscar Wilde. He proved to be both! Wilde’s genius as a raconteur and coiner of epigrams made him the most quoted man in London. He translated his genius into stories, plays, poems and a novel and gained a place amongst the great Victorian writers. In two lectures Susannah Fullerton tells Wilde’s extraordinary life story, his incredible success, then his dramatic fall from fame.
Annabel Crabb

Thursday 16 October, 12.30 PM

Talk: The Wife Drought with Annabel Crabb

'Why can’t I have a wife?’ It’s a common joke among busy women. But it’s not a joke. Male politicians who reach their forties without having children are so rare as to be remarkable but politics is full of women who are childless. Why? Because if you want to combine kids with an elite career, the first thing you need (if you’re going to have the best possible shot at it) is a stay-at-home spouse. And it’s awfully hard to interest a bloke in a gig like that. Join Annabel Crabb as she discusses her new book The Wife Drought, a book full of stories from the author’s work in and around politics and media, involving anecdotes about high-profile women and men.
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.

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Friday 17 October, 12.00 PM

Movie: Apocalypse, la 1ère Guerre Mondiale (Apocalypse World War 1)

This five-part series will run over consecutive Fridays from 17 October to 14 November 2014.
As part of the Library’s World War I program the Library, in association with the Embassy of France in Australia, will screen the award-winning French language documentary Apocalypse, la 1ère Guerre Mondiale.

This screening: Furie (Fury)
This episode looks at Europe at the beginning of World War I.

These screenings are in English.

Walkleys

Friday 17 October, 3.30 PM

Special event: Walkley Documentary Award Screenings

View the six long-listed finalists for the 2014 Walkley Documentary Award.

Saturday 18 October, 9.00 AM

Seminar: Society of Women Writers Literary Festival - Dare to be an Author

Rub shoulders with award-winning novelists, theatre and film writers, publishers and editors. The list of speakers includes Blanche d’Alpuget, Bettina Arndt, Debra Oswald, Noëlle Janaczewska, Jeanine Leane and Lee Lewis. New writers are especially welcome. The Society of Women Writers, founded almost 90 years ago, invites Australian women writers, both established and aspiring, and readers to a day of literary indulgence. The Dare to be an Author program focuses on exploring what it means to be a woman writer in today’s world.
Walkleys

Sunday 19 October, 3.00 PM

Special event: Walkley Documentary Award Screenings

View the six long-listed finalists for the 2014 Walkley Documentary Award.
Oscar Wilde

Monday 20 October, 11.00 AM

Talk: The Importance of Being Oscar: The Life and Works of Oscar Wilde with Susannah Fullerton

Join popular literary expert Susannah Fullerton for a two-part lecture series on Oscar Wilde. ‘Somehow or other I’ll be famous, and if not famous, I’ll be notorious,’ declared the young Oscar Wilde. He proved to be both! Wilde’s genius as a raconteur and coiner of epigrams made him the most quoted man in London. He translated his genius into stories, plays, poems and a novel and gained a place amongst the great Victorian writers. In two lectures Susannah Fullerton tells Wilde’s extraordinary life story, his incredible success, then his dramatic fall from fame.

Thursday 23 October, 6.00 PM

Special event: Out of the Vaults:  Voyages to the East Indies

This event will feature a fascinating selection of charts documenting the European discovery of the East Indies, the development of the valuable spice trade in the 16th and 17th centuries and the links to the discovery and charting of Australia. Join Maggie Patton on a journey through the State Library’s magnificent map collections.

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

Cover

Friday 24 October, 12.00 PM

Movie: Apocalypse, la 1ère Guerre Mondiale (Apocalypse World War 1)

This five-part series will run over consecutive Fridays from 17 October to 14 November 2014.
As part of the Library’s World War I program the Library, in association with the Embassy of France in Australia, will screen the award-winning French language documentary Apocalypse, la 1ère Guerre Mondiale.

This screening: Peur (Fear)
The growth of a European conflict into a global war.

These screenings are in English.

David Hill

Thursday 30 October, 12.30 PM

Talk: The Making of Australia: From a Corrupt Convict Settlement to the Remarkable Nation it is Today with David Hill

Join David Hill as he talks about his latest book, The Making of Australia: From a Corrupt Convict Settlement to the Remarkable Nation it is Today, the story of how a struggling convict settlement grew into six dynamic colonies and then the remarkable nation of Australia. Told through the key figures who helped build it into the thriving nation it is today.

Cover

Friday 31 October, 12.00 PM

Movie: Apocalypse, la 1ère Guerre Mondiale (Apocalypse World War 1)

This five-part series will run over consecutive Fridays from 17 October to 14 November 2014.
As part of the Library’s World War I program the Library, in association with the Embassy of France in Australia, will screen the award-winning French language documentary Apocalypse, la 1ère Guerre Mondiale.

This screening: Enfer (Hell)
The realities of trench warfare and its toll on countries and their citizens becomes apparent.

These screenings are in English.

Elizabeth Heneretta Villa

Monday 3 November, 11.00 AM

Talk: Lives and Times in Early Colonial Sydney with Elizabeth Ellis OAM

In this series of illustrated lectures, Emeritus Curator Elizabeth Ellis OAM will explore the lives and times of people in early nineteenth century Sydney. She will show how the first European settlement soon spread beyond Sydney Cove, how the ideas and aspirations the colonists brought with them from Britain shaped their attitudes, and how they changed in response to their new environments.
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.

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Thursday 6 November, 6.00 PM

Talk: The Beach They Called Gallipoli: Jackie French and Bruce Whatley in conversation

Hear the team behind the best-selling and most popular books of a generation talk about their latest collaboration and the personal stories that inspired it. Many books have been written about the battles of Gallipoli; the men who went to war and what they faced, the letters, and the tears of those left behind. But this is a book about Gallipoli, the place, and what happened on Gallipoli Beach from April to December 1915. With beautiful illustrations by Bruce Whatley, this book explores the beach where the battles took place. This is more than a book about ANZACS; this is a book about the people of all nationalities who fought at that cove.

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.

Cover

Friday 7 November, 12.00 PM

Movie: Apocalypse, la 1ère Guerre Mondiale (Apocalypse World War 1)

This five-part series will run over consecutive Fridays from 17 October to 14 November 2014.
As part of the Library’s World War I program the Library, in association with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will screen the award-winning French language documentary Apocalypse, la 1ère Guerre Mondiale.

This screening: Rage
As the USA enters the conflict the misery of war has become part of daily life. People are beginning to question the justifications of carnage.

These screenings are in English.

Cover

Saturday 8 November, 2.00 PM

Talk: The Lost Diggers with Ross Coulthart

During the First World War, thousands of Aussie diggers and other Allied troops passed through the French town of Vignacourt, two hours north of Paris. Many had their photographs taken by Louis and Antoinette Thuillier as souvenirs while they enjoyed a brief respite from the carnage of the Western Front. For all too many, this was their last moment away from the lines before being sent to their deaths in battles that are now part of the mythology of Australian nationhood. The weariness and horror of battle is reflected in their eyes, but the photos also capture a sense of camaraderie, high spirits and even a soupcon of romance.
Elizabeth Heneretta Villa

Monday 10 November, 11.00 AM

Talk: Lives and Times in Early Colonial Sydney with Elizabeth Ellis OAM

In this series of illustrated lectures, Emeritus Curator Elizabeth Ellis OAM will explore the lives and times of people in early nineteenth century Sydney. She will show how the first European settlement soon spread beyond Sydney Cove, how the ideas and aspirations the colonists brought with them from Britain shaped their attitudes, and how they changed in response to their new environments.
Still Image

Tuesday 11 November, 2.00 PM

Special event: Remembrance Day Commemoration: Forty Thousand Horsemen (1940)

Stirring, sweeping and spectacular, Forty Thousand Horsemen dramatises the exploits of the Australian Light Horse in Palestine during World War I. Graham Shirley has worked for four decades as a director, writer and researcher on Australian historical documentaries. He has conducted numerous oral histories and is co-author of Australian Cinema: The First 80 Years (published 1983 and 1989). From 2006 to 2014 he was a senior curator and Manager, Access Projects with the National Film and Sound Archive. Graham will introduce the screening.

This event is part of the Silent Film Festival series.

We will remember them

Tuesday 11 November, 6.00 PM

Special event: Out of the Vaults: ‘We will remember them ...’

As we continue our commemoration of the centenary of World War I and Australia’s role in it, we invite you to come and see part of the Library’s rich collection of servicemen and women’s precious albums, letter collections and keepsakes sent back from the war.

This event is part of the Out of the Vaults 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.

Hakylut

Wednesday 12 November, 6.00 PM

Talk: Hakluyt Society

2014 marks the bicentenary of the death of Captain Matthew Flinders RN who in 1801 to 1803 commanded the first ship to circumnavigate Australia. The Hakluyt Society will mark the bicentenary with the publication of the two-volume Australia Circumnavigated: The Journal of HMS Investigator, 1801–1803, edited by Kenneth Morgan.

The President of the Hakluyt Society, Michael Barritt, and the editor of Australia Circumnavigated, Kenneth Morgan, will be speaking and material from the Library’s collections will be on display at the event.

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.

Friday 14 November, 12.00 PM

Movie: Apocalypse, la 1ère Guerre Mondiale (Apocalypse World War 1)

This five-part series will run over consecutive Fridays from 17 October to 14 November 2014.
As part of the Library’s World War I program the Library, in association with the Embassy of France in Australia, will screen the award-winning French language documentary Apocalypse, la 1ère Guerre Mondiale.

This screening: Delivery 
How the war finally ended, leaving Europe decimated and looking to rebuild.

These screenings are in English.

Elizabeth Heneretta Villa

Monday 17 November, 11.00 AM

Talk: Lives and Times in Early Colonial Sydney with Elizabeth Ellis OAM

In this series of illustrated lectures, Emeritus Curator Elizabeth Ellis OAM will explore the lives and times of people in early nineteenth century Sydney. She will show how the first European settlement soon spread beyond Sydney Cove, how the ideas and aspirations the colonists brought with them from Britain shaped their attitudes, and how they changed in response to their new environments.
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.

Simon Winchester

Sunday 23 November, 3.00 PM

Talk: The Pedant, the Precise and the Pacific with Simon Winchester

We seek the precise in the use of language — the selection of the mot juste is the mark of good writing, they say. But in writing about so vast a topic as the Pacific Ocean — is the precise really the best way to get the message across? Or is the pointilliste approach more suited? And anyway, is precision generally such a good thing — in making things, isn’t bamboo sometimes better than titanium? Simon Winchester, writing about these three ideas, investigates how to get it Just Right, without becoming slaves to exactitude. Simon Winchester OBE established his writing career as a foreign correspondent for the Guardian and the BBC, before becoming an independent writer/researcher of bestselling books in multiple fields of academic and international interest.
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.

Thursday 4 December, 5.30 PM

Talk: The Calligrapher's Stage with Massimo Polello

The Library in association with the Australian Calligraphers Association present internationally renowned calligrapher Massimo Polello. Massimo is President of the Turin Calligraphers’ Guild Dal Segno alla Scrittura and owner of Gallery ABC Atelier Studio. He also works with the Medicea Laurenziana Library in Florence. Join Massimo as he talks about his works and passion for calligraphy.

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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