Exhibitions at the State Library of New South Wales – current, past and future – seek to engage audiences with the extraordinary range, breadth and depth of our collections.
View opening hours for the Exhibition Galleries
Nelson Meers Foundation
The Nelson Meers Foundation supports the State Library of New South Wales in presenting its outstanding collection of rare and historic items to the Australian public through the Heritage Collection series.
- 4 April 2015 – 23 August 2015
- Exhibition Galleries
In the 1880s Arthur K Syer strolled through the streets of Sydney with his parcel-wrapped, hand-held 'Detective Camera', which allowed him to take photographs without the subject's knowledge.
The informal nature of Syer's photographs — low camera angles, blurred movement and an absence of careful composition — give 1880s Sydney a cinematic quality. The gestures and poses of the street can be sensed.
These images provoke us to put ourselves in the crowd, and compare the lives of 1880s Sydney-siders with our own experience of the city.