While we don’t like to play favourites, the State Library does hold six very special collections that have the honour of being recognised by UNESCO.
These collections are our:
- Giant Glass Plate Negatives of Sydney Harbour,
- First Fleet journals,
- World War I diaries,
- Holtermann photographic collection,
- Dorothea Mackellar’s poetry notebook ‘Verses 1907‐1908’,
- Internment papers from 1914–1919, and
- Ethel Turner's Seven Little Australians.
Our giant glass plate negatives are especially privileged because they are the Library’s first inscription on the international UNESCO Memory of the World register. This list is made up of a select group of unique, irreplaceable and important collections from around the world and includes internationally significant records such as the Diaries of Anne Frank, the Churchill Papers and the Story of the Kelly Gang.
The glass plate negatives are also listed on the Australian Register, along with the other five inscriptions from the State Library’s collection. Like its international counterpart the Australian program highlights important heritage documents, with a focus on inscribing significant Australian collections.
Both the Australian and the World register include an incredibly select group of collections. The World register has only around 500 collections listed worldwide and the Australian register includes less than 100 items from across the country.
The inclusion of these collections on the UNESCO Memory of the World register is a great source of pride for the Library and highlights our reputation as the most valuable library collection in Australia and among the most valuable in the world.