Scheduled maintenance: requesting in the catalogue will be unavailable on Sunday 3 March between 3am and 4am AEDT. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Openbook online

The Library's quarterly magazine has had makeover and is now called Openbook. Read a selection of articles here.

Spring 2023

You say you want a referendum

Andrew Trigg explores the Library's referenda-related ephemera.

Rara Avis the impossible black swan

A new addition to the Library’s world-class collection of Australian ornithological drawings.

A model archive

Lisa Clifford reflects on donating her late mother June Dally-Watkins’ scrapbooks to the Library.


Winter 2023

Shakespeare Wallah

The Bard on tour in Bengal and beyond.

A book by its cover

A twenty-first century fine binder gains a student.

The Captain

The devastation of a shipwreck echoes across time.


Autumn 2023

Summer 2022

Michelle Cahill

A novelist brings a marginalised character back to the centre.

Festive baking time

A recipe from The Keeyuga Cookery Book by Henrietta C McGowan, published in 1911.


Spring 2022

The long history of the power of positive thinking

Self-help enterprises that advise how to be you — but better — aren’t as new as you might think.

The Tree of Life

In the depths of grief, Indira Naidoo turns to the natural world around her for answers.

Calling the Koori Knockout

One of the most important sporting and cultural events on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander calendar returns.

Broken Glass

A short story.

Do we still have time for Henry Lawson?

It is 100 years since the famous writer and chronicler of bush life died.


Winter 2022

Helmut & Max, June & Maggie

Fashion photographer Helmut Newton’s career began in Australia, where he met fellow photographer Max Dupain and two women who would shape his life.

Art & life: Cressida Campbell

As she finalises work for her landmark exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia, Sydney artist Cressida Campbell invites Openbook into her studio.

Q&A with photographer Matthew Abbott

We managed to ask Matthew Abbott a few questions as he sat on a train travelling to Amsterdam to attend the grand opening of the World Press Photo Exhibition.

On fire

Alexandra Christie is the new editor of HEAT, an illustrious literary publication in its third incarnation


Autumn 2022

The Long March from Wollongong

A historian finds rich industrial history, and photography, in the archives.

How to colour in a ghost

The challenges of bringing a hangman known as ‘Nosey Bob’ back to life.

A nondescript building in Cabramatta

The library that made me.


Summer 2021

Three men and ...

The world of a goldfields publican comes within reach through research to uncover the secrets of an early photograph.

Take 5 ice creams

In celebration of summer, here are some of our favourite ice cream images from the collection.

Q&A with Andrew Kwong

Dr Andrew Kwong, writer and Central Coast GP, won the Michael Crouch Award for a debut book in the 2021 National Biography Awards.


Spring 2021

Grand designs

Photographs reveal the grand inner-city gardens that were once the glory of Sydney.

Finding the poetry

Writer and teacher Giacomo Bianchino found himself in need of a library collection and space to work in.


Winter 2021

Light less guarded

A poem by Jane Gibian.

Self-portrait: Laura McPhee-Browne

A debut novelist observes a common peril.


Autumn 2021

What about the sheilas?

Peter Kingston couldn’t please everyone in his artist’s book Sheilas, but the result is a special piece of work.

Finding Charlotte

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

The divine Dante

The great Italian poet Dante Alighieri died in Ravenna, in northern Italy, in 1321. Seven hundred years later, the literary world is commemorating the life of a writer who is considered the father of the Italian language.


SL Magazine - Winter 2020

Summer 2020

Drawing to a close

An artist followed in the inspiring footsteps of a botanist rescued from a tragic expedition in 1848. 

The Art of the Title page

A title page has always told readers what the book is about, but sometimes with an artistic flourish.

Six splendid street libraries

Street libraries are boxed shelters for books, managed by passionate local ‘librarians’. These tiny vestibules of literary happiness can be enjoyed, refilled and built by anyone.

'Demonstrations were our internet'

Fifty years after the first gay rights organisation was founded in NSW, the activism of the 1970s still resonates.


SL Magazine - Spring 2020

SL Magazine - Autumn 2020

SL Magazine - Summer 2019

SL Magazine - Spring 2019

SL Magazine - Winter 2019

SL Magazine - Autumn 2019

SL Magazine - Spring 2018

SL Magazine - Winter 2018

SL Magazine - Autumn 2018

SL Magazine - 2017

SL Magazine - 2016

SL Magazine - 2015

SL Magazine - Previous years