Buried deep down in the cool darkness of the Library’s framed picture store hangs a beautiful portrait of the young Mrs F O’Brien. It was painted in mid-1841 by naval surgeon-turned artist Maurice Felton from a death mask.
The interviews delve into the personal stories of recently arrived migrants and their new lives in New South Wales, starting from birth and childhood and covering the (often harrowing) reasons they were compelled to leave their homes and seek safety in another country.
In the days before digital and film photography, images were often taken on glass. But from the 1880s, development of ready-to-use 'dry plate' negatives and simpler cameras saw the rise of amateur photography.
During the First World War nearly 7000 ‘enemy aliens’, mainly of German and Austro-Hungarian origin, were interned in camps in Australia. The Library’s collection of papers of ‘enemy aliens’ interned in Australia during WW1 contains around 40 handwritten diaries written by internees.