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The Story of May Gibbs

May Gibbs, author, illustrator and cartoonist, has captured the hearts and imaginations of generations of Australians with her lovable bush characters and fairytale landscapes.

Bringing a rare herbal back to life

Read about the conservation treatment this rare book received in preparation for our Planting Dreams exhibition.

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Under the sun

Max Dupain’s Sunbaker has inspired an exhibition of contemporary and thought-provoking artworks. 

Alec Chisholm: Bush Naturalist and Benign Nationalist

Alec Chisholm (1890–1977) was once famous in Australia. Although that’s no longer so, he’s a man worth remembering. Journalist, historian, literary critic, naturalist, conservationist and encyclopaedia editor.

Boy oh boy!

In 25 years at the State Library, our Curator of Photographs has seen four people cry.

Red Cross under the Southern Cross

Australian Red Cross has donated its NSW archive to the Library, spanning over 100 years of humanitarian aid.

Record Catch

Merging history and science, a Library fellowship tracked 80 years of fishing off the east coast of Australia.

Shutterbug Jitterbug Bondi Visionary

The photographs of George Caddy are an astonishing modernist record of Bondi Beach and its people during a remarkable era. 

Under the Rainbow

The 1970s were a transformative time for northern New South Wales, especially in the regional town of Nimbin.  The 1973 Aquarius Festival changed the small country town and the surrounding region forever.

The Garden Palace

Sydney’s Garden Palace was a magnificent building with a grandeur that dominated the skyline and captivated society from its opening in 1879. Three years later it was destroyed in a devastating fire.

Slide show

The quirky and obscure Hallams slide collection is a curator’s dream, revealing ordinary Australian gardens in the 1960s and 70s.

The modern garden

Outstanding gardens are revealed by leading photographers in a new exhibition.

Bringing a rare herbal back to life

Read about the conservation treatment this rare book received in preparation for our Planting Dreams exhibition.

Planting Dreams: audio guides

Hear Jonathan Jones, Bruce Pascoe and Richard Aitken share their thoughts about some of the items on display in Planting Dreams

French in Australia

The history of the French in Australia dates from the arrival of the La Perouse expedition at Botany Bay in January 1788, just days after the landing of the First Fleet.

Antarctica: modern adventures

Like many other nations, Australia was looking to the future after the turmoil of the Second World War. Several countries saw Antarctica as a potential source of territory, fishing and mineral resources.

Early Antarctic Adventures

The subject of much speculation, the idea of an unknown southern land began with the ancient Greeks.