OUR collection OUR stories

Writing inspired by State Library of NSW collections in collaboration with Story Factory and NASCA

In June 2021, a select group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from eight schools across Sydney visited the State Library of NSW on Gadigal land. Supported by their teachers and NASCA staff, the students were introduced to the Library and its collections, many for the very first time. 

After a whirlwind tour with Library Education Officers, the students sat down with Melissa Jackson and Kerry-Ann Tape from the Library’s Indigenous Engagement branch. Melissa and Kerry-Ann had selected a range of objects from the Library’s collections and as they shared the items’ backstories, the students asked questions, took pictures and started to make personal connections with these physical manifestations of history.

Richard Short, Lamisa Haque and Kevin Ngo from the Story Factory led the students in a series of activities to creatively respond to these items, asking questions such as “If this item could talk – what would it say?”. These thought-provoking questions inspired students to write imaginative texts based on their chosen object. This publication showcases a selection of these creative responses to items from the Library’s collections. From an angry boxing glove to a lonely, lost coin, these works showcase fresh perspectives from our talented young people which bring these artefacts to life.  

We would like to thank all of the staff from NASCA, the Story Factory and the schools who made this program possible, as well as the State Library of NSW Foundation who provided funding for the program. Most of all we would like to thank this incredible group of young people, whose vivid imaginations are responsible for everything contained in this publication. 

Congratulations to all of the students who participated in this project from these schools:

  • Airds High School

  • Alexandria Park Community School

  • Glenmore Park High School

  • Kingswood High School

  • Richmond High School

  • Tempe High School

  • Thomas Reddall High School

  • Windsor High School

Read Our Collection Our Stories

People holding photographs at a table