The Library is open. See frequently asked questions.
The State Library of New South Wales was one of the first institutions in Australia to collect photographs as documentary records.
Over the past 100 years the Library has gathered an unsurpassed photographic record of the people, places and events of Sydney from the 1850s through to the present.
Sydney's first photograph, a view down Bridge Street, was taken on 13 May 1841, by Auguste Lucas, a visiting French sea captain. Lucas demonstrated his amazing daguerreotype camera at the stores of Messrs, Joubert, and Murphy, in the hope of selling it. A solitary reporter from The Australian recorded the demonstration, while the majority of locals (about 35,000 people) were looking out for the arrival of the Sea Horse, the largest steam ship yet to visit the colony. Unfortunately, the Bridge Street daguerreotype hasn't been seen since.