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.

Splendid Species

The Library is delighted to announce the complete digitisation of its renowned "pattern" set of 681 folio-sized plates for  'The Birds of Australia' by John Gould. 

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.

A French sailor-artist on the South Seas

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

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.

Under the sun

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

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.

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. 

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. 

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.