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.

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.

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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.

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Friday 7 November, 2.00 PM

Movie: Suddenly (1954) with soundtrack

Terror comes to the sleepy small town of Suddenly when a cold-blooded assassin takes a family hostage. Now, the clock is ticking and every precious second counts as they band together to stop this methodical killer before he can carry out his shocking plan. Academy Award winner, Frank Sinatra, gives a “tour de force” (The New York Times) performance in the most astonishing role of his career. Sterling Hayden costars as the sheriff who is pitted against this cool and cunning psychopath in a tense battle of wills. Available in pristine HD with superior picture and sound, this is the definitive collector’s edition of this controversial classic of unnerving suspense.

This event is part of the Silent Film Festival series.

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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.

Saturday 15 November, 9.45 AM

Seminar: Where’s Oral History Heading?

US historian Michael Frisch is one of the most influential contributors to international developments in oral and public history: in the 1970’s he led new interpretations of memory and history; in the 1980’s he coined the notion of ‘shared authority’ to illuminate the oral history relationship; since the 1990’s he has worked at the cutting edge of digital technologies for creating, sharing and interpreting recorded interviews. Oral History NSW has invited Michael to Sydney as part of his Australian tour in connection with the Australian Generations Conference: Researching 20th Century Lives and Memories October 30-31, 2014.

Michael Frisch is Professor, in the Department of History, University of Buffalo, the State University of New York. Michael’s interests are urban social history and responses to de-industrialisation. He has been involved for many years in oral and public history projects, often in collaboration with community history organisations, museums and documentary filmmakers.

Pen logo

Saturday 15 November, 3.00 PM

Talk: PEN Sydney Day of the Imprisoned Writer

The final PEN Sydney Free Voices lecture for 2014 will feature an address by Dennis Altman on "Repressive Tolerance and Political Correctness".

This lecture examines the ways in which free speech and debate are limited in contemporary liberal societies by the role of the market and by assumptions about the need for “balance”. What does “free speech” mean in an era of global electronic media and polarised political debate? Are there limits to tolerance of vitriol and ignorance in political debate?

Dennis Altman is the son of Jewish refugees, a writer and academic who first came to attention with the publication of his book Homosexual: Oppression & Liberation in 1972. Altman is a Professorial Fellow in the Institute for Human Security at LaTrobe University in Melbourne. He was listed by The Bulletin as one of the 100 most influential Australians ever, and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia June 2008.

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.

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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.

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Thursday 20 November, 12.00 PM

Movie: Lunchtime Film Festival (with Blackfella Films)

Join us for free lunchtime screenings of the critically acclaimed Australian television drama series Redfern Now. Every weekday throughout the Corroboree festival.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Friday 21 November, 12.00 PM

Movie: Lunchtime Film Festival (with Blackfella Films)

Join us for free lunchtime screenings of the critically acclaimed Australian television drama series Redfern Now. Every weekday throughout the Corroboree festival.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Friday 21 November, 1.00 PM

Talk: Redfern Now Conversations

Join the stars of the ground-breaking television series Redfern Now at the State Library of NSW. Speak to the cast and crew about what it was like behind the scenes and learn how the series came to be created.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

Saturday 22 November, 10.30 AM

Special event: Family Fun Day

Come dressed as your favourite Lynley Dodd character & join in the fun! Storytelling, book signing,
face-painting, film screening, craft, dress-up parade and more.

In association with the Lynley Dodd: A Retrospective exhibition.

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.
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Monday 24 November, 12.00 PM

Movie: Lunchtime Film Festival (with Blackfella Films)

Join us for free lunchtime screenings of the critically acclaimed Australian television drama series Redfern Now. Every weekday throughout the Corroboree festival.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Monday 24 November, 1.00 PM

Special event: Out of the Vaults: Corroboree

Join the State Library’s Aboriginal librarians for an hour long, up-close look at some of the Indigenous treasures from the collection.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Tuesday 25 November, 12.00 PM

Movie: Lunchtime Film Festival (with Blackfella Films)

Join us for free lunchtime screenings of the critically acclaimed Australian television drama series Redfern Now. Every weekday throughout the Corroboree festival.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Tuesday 25 November, 1.00 PM

Talk: Redfern Now Conversations

Join the stars of the ground-breaking television series Redfern Now at the State Library of NSW. Speak to the cast and crew about what it was like behind the scenes and learn how the series came to be created.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Wednesday 26 November, 9.30 AM

Workshop: My Sydney Writer’s Workshops

Aspiring young writers will step back in time and be inspired by Sydney’s past during the Sydney Stories Writer’s Workshops for high school students.
Led by writer Cathy Craigie with the Sydney Story Factory and the State Library, participants will explore Sydney city landscape through memory and imagination and draw inspiration from colonial objects in the State Library’s collection such as Cora Gooseberry’s breastplate and rum mug, historic sexton. The stories crafted during the workshop will be digitised and added to the State Library’s collections.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Wednesday 26 November, 12.00 PM

Movie: Lunchtime Film Festival (with Blackfella Films)

Join us for free lunchtime screenings of the critically acclaimed Australian television drama series Redfern Now. Every weekday throughout the Corroboree festival.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Thursday 27 November, 9.30 AM

Workshop: My Sydney Writer’s Workshops

Aspiring young writers will step back in time and be inspired by Sydney’s past during the Sydney Stories Writer’s Workshops for high school students.
Led by writer Cathy Craigie with the Sydney Story Factory and the State Library, participants will explore Sydney city landscape through memory and imagination and draw inspiration from colonial objects in the State Library’s collection such as Cora Gooseberry’s breastplate and rum mug, historic sexton. The stories crafted during the workshop will be digitised and added to the State Library’s collections.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Thursday 27 November, 12.00 PM

Movie: Lunchtime Film Festival (with Blackfella Films)

Join us for free lunchtime screenings of the critically acclaimed Australian television drama series Redfern Now. Every weekday throughout the Corroboree festival.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Friday 28 November, 10.00 AM

Special event: Out of the Vaults: Corroboree

Join the State Library’s Aboriginal librarians for an hour long, up-close look at some of the Indigenous treasures from the collection.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney series.

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Friday 28 November, 12.00 PM

Movie: Lunchtime Film Festival (with Blackfella Films)

Join us for free lunchtime screenings of the critically acclaimed Australian television drama series Redfern Now. Every weekday throughout the Corroboree festival.

This event is part of the Corroboree Sydney 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.

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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