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.

NBA logo 2015

Monday 3 August 2015, 11.00 AM

Special event: National Biography Award 2015

Join us for the announcement of the National Biography Award on Monday 3 August, Australia’s richest prize for biographical writing and memoir.

Established in 1996 to encourage the highest standards of writing in biography and autobiography and to promote public interest in these genres, the award is administered and presented by the State Library of NSW on behalf of benefactors Dr Geoffrey Cains and Mr Michael Crouch AO, and the State Library Foundation.

This event is part of the Biography Week series.

CAMDEN PARK HOUSE

Tuesday 4 August 2015, 11.00 AM

Talk: Scholarly Musings: A suitable residence

Among the letters, receipts and accounts in the Mitchell Library’s Macarthur papers are some very different treasures: a complex series of plans that relate to John Macarthur’s building ambitions.

Though most of these designs never left the drawing board, this talk will examine Macarthur’s intentions, the careers of his designers and their plans, and what they reveal of Sydney’s infant building industry.

Scott Hill is a curator with Sydney Living Museums. Long fascinated by John Macarthur’s architectural interests, Scott’s PhD research examines the design evolution of Camden Park throughout its 30-year construction.

This event is part of the Scholarly Musings series.

Stories in surprising places

Wednesday 5 August 2015, 10.30 AM

Tour: Stories in Surprising Places

Join us for storytime fun at the BIG Library! You wll explore our amazing building, discover wonderful books, make craft and enjoy the magic of shared stories.

This event is part of the Kids@the Library series.

Family research for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Wednesday 5 August 2015, 11.00 AM

Talk: Family research for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

The Library has a wealth of material that could be vital for those engaged in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family history research. Join Indigenous Librarians, Ronald Briggs and Melissa Jackson, for a discussion about these resources and other strategies that may assist you in your journey.

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

Kim Williams AM

Wednesday 5 August 2015, 6.00 PM

Talk: 2015 National Biography Award Lecture

Kim Williams AM will present the annual National Biography Award Lecture at the Library.

As we celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the prestigious National Biography Award we are honoured that Kim has agreed to join us to discuss the wonder of biography and memoir writing.

Kim will talk about a variety of biographies which have mattered to him, he will also discuss his own critically acclaimed biography Rules of Engagement.

Join us for this celebration of storytelling of the most personal nature.

This event is part of the Biography Week series.

image of tree

Thursday 6 August 2015, 2.30 PM

Talk: Starting your family tree

If you are new to the Library and new to family research, join us for an introduction to the Library's catalogue, eresources and the benefits of getting a library card.

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

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Friday 7 August 2015, 10.30 AM

Talk: Newspapers for family history

Newspapers hold a wealth of information. Learn about the best newspaper databases from Australia and overseas, and how to search like a professional.

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

State Library

Wednesday 12 August 2015, 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.

Stories in surprising places

Wednesday 12 August 2015, 10.30 AM

Tour: Stories in Surprising Places

Join us for storytime fun at the BIG Library! You wll explore our amazing building, discover wonderful books, make craft and enjoy the magic of shared stories.

This event is part of the Kids@the Library series.

Image of a gavel

Wednesday 12 August 2015, 6.00 PM

Talk: Can there be law without violence?

Is it possible to establish clear limits to how the law can use violence? Or is the violence from which the law is meant to protect us internal to the law itself?

Peg Birmingham, Anna Yeatman and James Martel discuss the relationship between law and violence.

Movie Film

Thursday 13 August 2015, 12.00 PM

Movie: Free Movies on Macquarie: Photographers of Australia

A documentary showcasing the work of three of Australia’s most renowned photographers: Max Dupain, Wolfgang Sievers and David Moore.

Jacqueline Dinan

Thursday 13 August 2015, 1.30 PM

Talk: Between the Dances

The start of World War 2 changed women’s lives and their place in Australian society forever. Thousands of women ventured where few had gone before – into the services and workplaces previously considered the sole preserve of men.

Serving their country as nurses, farmhands, munitions workers or members of the defence forces, these fascinating stories expose their struggle with gender stereotypes, the difficult release of social liberties and the dawning of new opportunities for all Australian women.

Between the Dances reveals poignant and personal conversations, photographs and letters from over 300 remarkable women and is a testament to real life during World War 2.

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Thursday 13 August 2015, 2.30 PM

Talk: Newspapers for family history

Newspapers hold a wealth of information. Learn about the best newspaper databases from Australia and overseas, and how to search like a professional.

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

GEORGE GITTOES ART DIARY

Friday 14 August 2015, 10.00 AM

Special event: The real thing

Join us for a glimpse at the exciting material the Library has acquired over the past 12 months as we continue to add to the Library’s intriguing and significant collections. The Library’s collection documents early European exploration in the Pacific and the search for the Great South Land through to contemporary life, recording the peoples and cultures of NSW, Australia and Oceania.
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Friday 14 August 2015, 10.30 AM

Talk: Finding your Irish ancestors

Unlike British ancestry, many Irish records were destroyed by fire in 1922. A beginner’s guide to what is available with a hand-out of useful websites.

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

Stories in surprising places

Wednesday 19 August 2015, 10.30 AM

Tour: Stories in Surprising Places

Join us for storytime fun at the BIG Library! You wll explore our amazing building, discover wonderful books, make craft and enjoy the magic of shared stories.

This event is part of the Kids@the Library series.

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Thursday 20 August 2015, 2.30 PM

Talk: Finding your Irish ancestors

Unlike British ancestry, many Irish records were destroyed by fire in 1922. A beginner’s guide to what is available with a hand-out of useful websites.

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

THE MONKEY OR BEAR OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Thursday 20 August 2015, 6.00 PM

Tour: Australian Inspiration

Join curator Sarah Morley for a curator led talk about Australian Inspiration. Sarah will discuss the Library’s history of collecting design and objects in her display.

In association with the Australian Inspiration exhibition.

Walkley Speech Bubble

Thursday 20 August 2015, 6.00 PM

Talk: Walkley Media Talks - Rolling Live Coverage: Risky Business

In an age when social media is the platform for breaking news, dramatic unfolding stories like the Martin Place siege can place the demand for constant media updates in a direct challenge to police and security operations, even leaving civilian lives in the balance.

In the wake of that event, what are the ethical and safety implications? How can journalists and newsrooms handle delicate police operations without impeding the public’s right to know?

This event is part of the Walkley Media Talks series.

Yodelling Boundary Riders book cover

Thursday 20 August 2015, 6.00 PM

Special event: Yodelling Boundary Riders

Yodelling Boundary Riders: Country music in Australia since the 1920s’ is a new book written by historian and musician Toby Martin and published by Lyrebird Press. It is the story of one of the most enduring forms of popular culture in Australia, a story full of wonderful characters and events: yodelling stockmen, singing cowgirls, sentimental cowboys, coo-ees in Nashville, hobos on the mail train and Australia’s craziest hillbillies.  In researching the book, Toby used the rich music-related, collections of Mitchell and State Libraries.

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Friday 21 August 2015, 10.30 AM

Talk: Maps for family research

A beginner’s guide to how a map can shed light on your ancestors. The focus is on the maps held at the Library and rarely seen maps will be on display.

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

Image of open books

Wednesday 26 August 2015, 9.00 AM

Seminar: Reclaiming the Knowledge Commons

Speakers include: Emeritus Professor Stephen Leeder, Professor Paul Komesaroff, Associate Professor Andrew Bonnell and Dr John Byron
Chair: Dr Claire Hooker
Stories in surprising places

Wednesday 26 August 2015, 10.30 AM

Tour: Stories in Surprising Places

Join us for storytime fun at the BIG Library! You wll explore our amazing building, discover wonderful books, make craft and enjoy the magic of shared stories.

This event is part of the Kids@the Library series.

ebook

Thursday 27 August 2015, 10.30 AM

Workshop: Welcome to the world of ebooks

Join us for a hands-on workshop exploring how to use an ereader, phone or tablet to read ebooks. Discover the Library's ebook collections and learn how to download ebooks from popular websites.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

Movie Film

Thursday 27 August 2015, 12.00 PM

Movie: Free Movies on Macquarie: Lewis Morley, Photography

Considered one of the most significant voices of 1960s London, Lewis Morley took one of the most iconic images of this period: a naked Christine Keeler on an Arne Jacobson chair.

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Thursday 27 August 2015, 2.30 PM

Talk: Maps for family research

A beginner’s guide to how a map can shed light on your ancestors. The focus is on the maps held at the Library and rarely seen maps will be on display.

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

HISTORIA ANIMALIUM KONRAD GESNER, 1516-1565

Thursday 27 August 2015, 6.00 PM

Special event: Out of the Vaults: Monsters (SOLD OUT)

This Out of the Vaults is dedicated to the fascinating mythological beasts and monsters that decorate the rare books, manuscripts and maps in the Library’s collections.

Many of these legendary creatures have their origins in writings from Ancient Greece and the Middle Ages all the way through to accounts of 18th century seafarers who were wary of encountering dangerous sea creatures as they sailed into the vast oceans beyond the equator.

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

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Friday 28 August 2015, 10.30 AM

Talk: Starting your family tree

If you are new to the Library and new to family research, join us for an introduction to the Library's catalogue, eresources and the benefits of getting a library card.

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

Image of Randolph Stow

Saturday 29 August 2015, 2.30 PM

Talk: Honouring Australian Writers

Sometimes we forget about the great when revelling in the new. In its annual Honouring Australian Writers series, the NSW Writers’ Centre pays tribute to writers who have made an important contribution to our literary culture.

In 2015 we turn to the West Australian writer Randolph Stow. Perhaps best known for The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea and To The Islands, which won the Miles Franklin Award, Australian Literary Society Gold Medal and the Melbourne Book Fair Award in 1958. He was also awarded the ALS Gold Medal for his poetry in 1957 and won the Patrick White Award in 1979.

Stories in surprising places

Wednesday 2 September 2015, 10.30 AM

Tour: Stories in Surprising Places

Join us for storytime fun at the BIG Library! You wll explore our amazing building, discover wonderful books, make craft and enjoy the magic of shared stories.

This event is part of the Kids@the Library series.

Thursday 3 September 2015, 10.30 AM

Workshop: Money Smart Week special event: Researching Stocks and Shares

A hands-on workshop for people interested in discovering more about publicly listed companies and their shares. Bring along the name of a company and Library staff will show you how to find company overviews, recent news, annual reports and share prices. Basic computer skills are required.
NB: This session is educational and informational only. The Library does not provide financial advice.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

Geoffrey Robertson

Thursday 3 September 2015, 6.00 PM

Talk: Geoffrey Robertson QC

The renowned Sydney-bred lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC explains how this iconic 800 year-old document – a copy of which is held by the State Library – has been re-interpreted and re-imagined to become a guarantee of liberty, and still carries a meaning for Australian governments today.

Stories in surprising places

Wednesday 9 September 2015, 10.30 AM

Tour: Stories in Surprising Places

Join us for storytime fun at the BIG Library! You wll explore our amazing building, discover wonderful books, make craft and enjoy the magic of shared stories.

This event is part of the Kids@the Library series.

SRL verandah

Thursday 10 September 2015, 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.

Julie Paterson

Saturday 12 September 2015, 10.00 AM

Workshop: Inspiration by Design: Designer Workshop

Break out your sketchbooks, grab your pencils and unleash your creativity in this hands on workshop let by our Designer in Residence Julie Paterson.

In association with the Australian Inspiration exhibition.

trove_logo

Tuesday 15 September 2015, 10.30 AM

Talk: 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.

Stories in surprising places

Wednesday 16 September 2015, 10.30 AM

Tour: Stories in Surprising Places

Join us for storytime fun at the BIG Library! You wll explore our amazing building, discover wonderful books, make craft and enjoy the magic of shared stories.

This event is part of the Kids@the Library series.

sandstone building image

Wednesday 16 September 2015, 10.30 AM

Talk: Exploring Colonial Sydney

Join State Library staff to discover the story of Sydney from 1788 to 1900. We will look at manuscripts, maps, paintings and art works that tell stories of early Sydney. Practise using the Library's catalogues and other search tools, and discover the many formats that can be researched to discover old Sydney.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

THE MONKEY OR BEAR OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Wednesday 16 September 2015, 12.00 PM

Tour: Australian Inspiration

Join curator Sarah Morley for a curator led talk about Australian Inspiration. Sarah will discuss the Library’s history of collecting design and objects in her display.

In association with the Australian Inspiration exhibition.

Geraldine Doogue

Friday 18 September 2015, 12.00 PM

Special event: Friends Literary Lunch

Join Australia's iconic media celebrities Jennifer Byrne and Geraldine Doogue for a fabulous Literary Lunch at the Sofitel Wentworth Hotel.
LES CHOSES DE PAUL POIRET (DETAIL), 1911

Thursday 24 September 2015, 6.00 PM

Special event: Out of the Vaults: Word and Image

Join us an evening of design delight, as we examine closely, art and design through some of the world’s finest book art. Complementing and extending the items on display in the Victoria and Albert exhibition Inspiration by Design and our very own Australian Inspiration. Join curator, Sarah Morley as we get up close and personal with these beautiful treasures.

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

In association with the Australian Inspiration exhibition.

Alive Inside Poster Image

Saturday 26 September 2015, 2.00 PM

Talk: Alive Inside

September is Dementia Awareness Month and this heart-warming documentary about the power of music therapy will bring hope to carers, families and the growing numbers of Australians affected by Alzhiemer’s and related conditions.

eresources

Thursday 8 October 2015, 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.

Friday 9 October 2015, 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.

documents

Friday 16 October 2015, 10.30 AM

Workshop: Starting Family 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.

ebook

Friday 23 October 2015, 10.30 AM

Workshop: Welcome to the world of ebooks

Join us for a hands-on workshop exploring how to use an ereader, phone or tablet to read ebooks. Discover the Library's ebook collections and learn how to download ebooks from popular websites.

This event is part of the Lifelong Learning series.

70s women

Tuesday 10 November 2015, 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 12 November 2015, 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.

camera

Wednesday 18 November 2015, 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.

Tuesday 8 December 2015, 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.

SRL verandah

Thursday 10 December 2015, 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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