Books and literature

Spine tingling

Looking closely at the spine could unlock the mystery of a rare book, or it could raise more questions.

On kindness

The opposite of kindness is not cruelty or malice. It is reason.

New chapters

On diversity, discomfort and the turning of a new page for the Australian publishing industry.

Novel thinking

Jamie Marina Lau began her second novel in a dream-like state that belies her intense research.

Beyond belief

Protecting the innocent through censorship has been a fraught and — in hindsight — sometimes comic endeavour. 

The Alarm Clock

In the Schumacher household it was legendary: The Alarm Clock.

Turning pages

Sydney Writers’ Festival Artistic Director Michael Williams is ready for the challenges of 2021.

Words across cities

The theme of friendship and betrayal took this writer and editor from her non-fiction debut to her first novel.

Finding Charlotte

Two writers’ search for their mysterious and talented forebear was full of archival riches.

The contestant: a short story

After a person dies, there is the game show.

So you want to be a poet

She found fame as a teenage poet, but Grace Perry’s startling later work and her support for fellow poets are barely remembered.

Probate: a short story

Stan didn’t look good at all. I could see him in the garden, through a window. Hunched forward, sucking on a cigarette, mistaking it for a sign of life.

Mr Archimedes Moves In

The Library is the new home of award-winning children’s author and illustrator Pamela Allen’s extensive archive.

Peas: a short story

It’s just a bag of peas, she told herself. I can order more online. So why was she crying?

The sound of words

What’s the process for turning words on a page into words in your ear?

These strange days: writers, post COVID-19

As writers adapt to a vastly altered publishing landscape, how will they remake themselves in a post-pandemic world?

Unique editions of Henry Lawson’s early poems

The Library's holdings illustrate the significance of what can at first appear to be copies of the same work.

Working for the Weekend

Donald Horne’s unlikely editorship of the mass-market Weekend magazine was a crucial stage in the Lucky Country author’s development as a public intellectual.

The Magic Pudding

In October 1918 Angus & Robertson published what would become one of Australia’s best known children’s stories: The Magic Pudding.

World War I diaries

The Library's collection of World War I diaries offers a glimpse into the life of Australians at war. 

Miles Franklin

‘Heaven could be no more magical and mystical than unspoiled Australia' - the brilliant career of Miles Franklin.

A distant paradise for Dickens

Charles Dickens saw Australia as a utopia for the working class — and his wayward sons.

Mallarmé: ‘Pages’ and ‘A throw of the dice’

Rare first editions of two proto-modernist works by French poet Stéphane Mallarmé.

Andre Breton: early Surrealist publications

Between 1919 and 1930  Andre Breton published experimental texts that defined the Surrealist movement.

Shakespeare - his birthplace, home and grave

In 1864 the Reverend John M. Jephson published his book on the birthplace, home, and grave of Shakespeare. Nestled within the pages of text are a series of photographs of sites relating to Shakespeare’s life in Stratford-on-Avon.