Stories

Featured stories

Australian Inspiration

This is the story of Julie Paterson, one of Australia’s best known contemporary textile designers, and her design journey of drawing inspiration from the collection.

 

The TAL & Dai-ichi Life Derby Collection

Six volumes of exquisite Australian natural history drawings dating from the first days of settlement. 

Reconstructing the Holtermann

What do you do when one of the world’s largest wet-plate glass negatives, weighing over 30 kilos, smashes into hundreds of pieces?

A French sailor-artist on the South Seas

An enquiry from France brings to light a gem of nineteenth century travel illustration.

Under the sun

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

The Enjoyment of a good story

From tales of colonial adventure to moralising educational tracts, children’s literature in nineteenth-century Australia played a significant role in educating children as the nation’s future citizens. 

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.

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.

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.

Architecture: Arrival of Modernism

Architectural Modernism was a revolutionary rejection of past styles and the use of architectural ornament.

Mysterious leaves from the past

Historical discoveries from the Library's collections.