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.

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.

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.

A French sailor-artist on the South Seas

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

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.

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.

 

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.

Shutterbug Jitterbug Bondi Visionary

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