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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.

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. 

The Cruise of 'The Freak'

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

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.

Under the sun

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

Planting Dreams: audio guides

Hear Jonathan Jones, Bruce Pascoe and Richard Aitken share their thoughts about some of the items on display in Planting Dreams

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.

Mysterious leaves from the past

Historical discoveries from the Library's collections.

Hume and Hovell

The story of the intrepid adventurers who explored and opened up inland Australia.

Antarctica: Frank Hurley

As the official photographer on the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, Frank Hurley provided a remarkable record of the dangers and heroism of Antarctic exploration in the early twentieth century.

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.

State Library’s digitised collections showcased by Google’s Cultural Institute

In 2015 the Library began sharing some of its digitised collections on Google’s Cultural Institute. This is a free site to discover exhibits and collections from museums, libraries, galleries and archives all around the world.

Hitting the slopes

A young woman’s trip to Kosciusko in the 1930s sent her headlong into romance.
 

From Terra Australis to Australia

Discover the original journals, logbooks, letters, paintings and drawings covering the voyage of the First Fleet, the mutiny on the Bounty and Matthew Flinders' journeys.