Stories

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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 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.

The modern garden

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

The Bowman flag

Our first coat of arms? The first recorded use of the kangaroo and emu supporting a shield is found on the Bowman Flag of 1806.

Eora

Delve deep into the stories and lives of Indigenous Sydney before European settlement.

Burke and Wills

As white settlement in Australia progressed, rumours abounded in the coastal cities as to what lay in the country’s largely unexplored centre.

The Tasman Map

The story of the Tasman Map is a tale of mystery, discovery and a chance finding on the Nullarbor Plain.