Stories

Featured stories

Voyages of Discovery

Europeans had been searching for rich new lands in the Southern Hemisphere long before Captain James Cook arrived on the east coast of Australia in 1770. Explore the State Library's incredible maps, journals, drawings and books to understand how the pieces of our continent were gradually put together.

The Cruise of 'The Freak'

The 1872 record of Rev. Brownrigg's travels through the islands of the Furneaux Group.

Andre Breton early Surrealist publications

Between 1919 and 1930  Andre Breton published experimental texts that defined the Surrealist movement.

The Randolph Hughes Collection

French literature and Pre-Raphaelite works 1800-1950

Decoration and Glass magazine

Decoration and Glass, a magazine for home builders, architects and decorators has been digitised in colour as part of the Library’s Digital Excellence Program. 

Australian Photo Review

 The longevity of the Australian Photo-Review marks it as the most significant in terms of insights into the development of photography in Australia 1894 through to the last issue which appeared in December 1956. It is now available online.

Building Magazine now online

The newly digitised Building magazine is a trove of information about the construction industry.

Crossing the Blue Mountains, Sydney

Read about the original documents and journals created by the European  pioneers who first crossed Sydney's Blue Mountains.

Shakespeare - his birthplace, home and grave

In 1864 the Reverend John M. Jephson published his book on the birthplace, home, and grave of Shakespeare. Nestled within the pages of text are a series of photographs of sites relating to Shakespeare’s life in Stratford-on-Avon.

The First Sydney Fish Market

Behind the grand army of hawkers, and acting as sort of camp followers to them, were a number of ragged sharp-looking boys.

Frank Hurley's World War I Photography

Frank Hurley's photographs of the western front in 1917 and the Middle East in 1918 are arresting and iconic.

Unveiling Captain Cook’s Statue, 1879

On 25 February 1879, a statue of Captain Cook was unveiled in Hyde park. This event was witnessed by around 40,000 making it one of the biggest events of the year.

Last of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition Rescued 10 January 1917

It is often assumed that there was no loss of life on Shackleton’s 1914-1917  expedition to cross Antarctica but this was not the case. 

John Tebbutt Australian Astronomer

While the name John Tebbutt is unfamiliar to many of us we may have inadvertently had the good fortune to have stowed him away in our wallets.