3,000 intriguing objects, 6 must‐see exhibitions, 1 historic moment!

Friday 5 October 2018

The State Library of NSW has hand‐picked over 3,000 intriguing objects from its underground stacks for the biggest public display in Library history, opening TOMORROW [6 October 2018].

This momentous event marks the launch of the State Library’s major new galleries, with six stunning exhibitions stretching across the first floor of the historic Mitchell Building.

According to State Librarian Dr John Vallance: “We are turning the Library inside out. Paintings, drawings, photographs, manuscripts, books, maps and other objects – many of them have not been shown in public before and together they tell the story of who we are and where we might be going.”

The Library’s new Galleries, built with the support of the late Michael Crouch AC, together with a new Learning Centre which is the gift of John B. Fairfax AO, will be launched with a free Open Day on Saturday 6 October, from 10 am to 4 pm.

“We’re opening up the Library with six free exhibitions, immersive digital experiences, and a rich program of fun activities for the whole family,” says Dr Vallance.

Highlights include:

  • an exciting installation by Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones, who has collaborated with four Sydney elders to tell “Sydney’s most important story”;
  • the Library’s six UNESCO Memory of the World collections, including First Fleet journals and Dorothea Mackellar’s original hand‐written poem Core of my heart (which became My Country);
  • extraordinary 100 year‐old images of Sydney (from original glass plate negatives), captured by one family over 50 years;
  • over 300 unique landscape and portrait paintings – many by well‐known artists – on permanent public display for the first time;
  • Miles Franklin’s long‐lost final diary, original Magic Pudding illustrations, alternative designs for the Sydney Harbour Bridge; and
  • a permanent display of thousands of objects – sculpture busts, miniature portraits, ceramics, coins, medals, cutlery, teacups, typewriters, convict bricks and much more!


Download full media release (278 KB PDF)