Stories

Featured stories

The Story of May Gibbs

May Gibbs, author, illustrator and cartoonist, has captured the hearts and imaginations of generations of Australians with her lovable bush characters and fairytale landscapes.

Shooting the war: Australia's first Oscar

'There'll be so much to be done when this is all finished…So many big subjects to be covered where the right kind of film will be useful.' Damien Parer (1943)

Voyages of Discovery

Europeans had been searching for rich new lands in the Southern Hemisphere long before Captain James Cook arrived on the east coast of Australia in 1770. Explore the State Library's incredible maps, journals, drawings and books.

Photography

Maps

Voyages of Discovery

Europeans had been searching for rich new lands in the Southern Hemisphere long before Captain James Cook arrived on the east coast of Australia in 1770. Explore the State Library's incredible maps, journals, drawings and books.

Thomas Livingstone Mitchell: mapmaker

A larger-than-life character whose passions included the study of fossils, poetry and the mechanical and scientific arts, Mitchell looms large in Australian colonial history.

The Tasman Map: two voyages to the southern ocean between 1642 and 1644

The story of the Tasman Map is a tale of mystery, discovery and a chance finding on the Nullarbor Plain.

Matthew Flinders: placing Australia on the map.

Flinders proved that Tasmania was an island, traced the coasts of the Australian continent and was the first person to use ‘Australian’ to describe the inhabitants of this land. He named nothing after himself.

Captain Cook’s voyages of discovery

Terra Australis Incognita – the unknown southern land. The existence (or not) of this mysterious, mythical place had been puzzled over since it was first hypothesised by the ancient Greeks and Romans

Eora: the lives of Indigenous Sydney before European settlement.

Delve deep into the stories of Indigenous Sydney before European settlement. created through a close and innovative interrogation of the European records of early colonisation.

The Dixson map collection reveals the history of European exploration and settlement of the Pacific

Explore the extensive collection of 16th to 20th century maps donated by Sir William Dixson.

Antarctica: modern adventures

Like many other nations, Australia was looking to the future after the turmoil of the Second World War. Several countries saw Antarctica as a potential source of territory, fishing and mineral resources.

Conrad Martens and George Edwards Peacock - Sydney Artists

Artists have always been attracted to the natural beauty of Sydney Harbour and its foreshores. Darling Point particularly, with its natural beauty and impressive villas, was a popular subject for both artists and photographers alike.