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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Under the Rainbow

The 1970s were a transformative time for northern New South Wales, especially in the regional town of Nimbin.  The 1973 Aquarius Festival changed the small country town and the surrounding region forever.

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.

French in Australia

The history of the French in Australia dates from the arrival of the La Perouse expedition at Botany Bay in January 1788, just days after the landing of the First Fleet.

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.

Shipboard: the 19th century emigrant experience

Shipboard brings to life the experience of the long voyage to Australia undertaken by thousands of emigrants in the second half of the 19th century.

Looking North - Sydney's Upper North Shore

The Upper North Shore is one of the jewels of Sydney. Follow the development of this region from isolated bush and farmland to a prosperous residential area.