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Aboriginal Australians

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Eora: Indigenous Sydney before European settlement

Delve deep into the stories of Indigenous Sydney before European settlement, created through a close and innovative interrogation of the European records of early colonisation.

Eight days in Kamay

On 29 April 1770, the Gweagal people of Kamay (Botany Bay) discovered James Cook and his crew as they sailed into the bay and came ashore. The eight days that followed changed the course of Australia’s history. 250 years later the events of those eight days and their continuing impact are still being debated, contested, felt.

Sydney's Bungaree

Bungaree (c 1775–1830) is a remarkable and enigmatic figure in Sydney and Australia’s colonial history. 

David Unaipon

A great inventor, an Indigenous rights advocate and Australia's first published Aboriginal writer.

All stories

Totems

How can a dialogue between Indigenous ancestors and descendants forge connections to country for all Australians?

Curating Eight Days in Kamay

In 1770 the Gweagal people of Kamay (Botany Bay) discovered James Cook and the Endeavour. The Library’s new exhibition explores the eight days that followed.

Art of Newcastle: convict artists in Aboriginal Country

An Aboriginal leader’s assistance to the artists of the Newcastle penal settlement led to an unprecedented visual record of the local Indigenous people.

Reclaiming our story

A contributor to the Library’s Living Language exhibition reflects on Indigenous resistance, survival, and the New England linguicide.

The real secret river: exploring Dyarubbin

A list of Aboriginal placenames was a trigger for seeking the ‘real secret river’.

The Redfern All Blacks in 1946

We've recently digitised a remarkable series of  photos showing players from the Redfern All Blacks rugby league team taken at Redfern Oval in 1946.

Living language: Aboriginal languages in New South Wales

A major exhibition opening in July at the Library will celebrate UNESCO’s International Year of Indigenous Languages.

Flash mob

Photographs from the Deadly Awards by Jamie James.

An unknown warrior: mysterious portrait of an unknown, handsome young Aboriginal man

This mysterious portrait of an unknown, handsome young Aboriginal man is believed to have belonged to Governor Lachlan Macquarie, described as ‘One of the NSW Aborigines befriended by Governor Macquarie’. Part of the Works in Focus series.

Toulgra

An 1802 portrait of a young Eora man, by French artist Nicolas-Martin Petit, is remarkable for its attention to detail.

Contact prints

Portrait of Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung people from the 1870s show how photography shaped race relationships in the nineteenth century. 

Members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are advised that this story contains names and images of deceased people.

The Sydney wars

Our 2017 Merewether Fellow Stephen Gapps looks at resistance and warfare in colonial Sydney on the anniversary of the Appin Massacre of 1816.