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Lasseter's lost reef

Nothing captures the Australian imagination quite like the thought of striking it lucky. So it’s no surprise one of our greatest legends involves a search for a mysterious vein of gold.

Convict artists in the time of Governor Macquarie

Many used their art to record and interpret the landscape and people of the early settlement.

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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.

A French sailor-artist on the South Seas

An enquiry from France brings to light a gem of nineteenth century travel illustration.

Frank Hurley's World War I Photography

Frank Hurley's photographs of the western front in 1917 and the Middle East in 1918 are arresting and iconic.

Under the sun

Max Dupain’s Sunbaker has inspired an exhibition of contemporary and thought-provoking artworks. 

The Enjoyment of a good story

From tales of colonial adventure to moralising educational tracts, children’s literature in nineteenth-century Australia played a significant role in educating children as the nation’s future citizens. 

Alec Chisholm: Bush Naturalist and Benign Nationalist

Alec Chisholm (1890–1977) was once famous in Australia. Although that’s no longer so, he’s a man worth remembering. Journalist, historian, literary critic, naturalist, conservationist and encyclopaedia editor.

Boy oh boy!

In 25 years at the State Library, our Curator of Photographs has seen four people cry.

Red Cross under the Southern Cross

Australian Red Cross has donated its NSW archive to the Library, spanning over 100 years of humanitarian aid.

Record Catch

Merging history and science, a Library fellowship tracked 80 years of fishing off the east coast of Australia.

Shutterbug Jitterbug Bondi Visionary

The photographs of George Caddy are an astonishing modernist record of Bondi Beach and its people during a remarkable era. 

Under the Rainbow

The 1970s were a transformative time for northern New South Wales, especially in the regional town of Nimbin.  The 1973 Aquarius Festival changed the small country town and the surrounding region forever.

The Garden Palace

Sydney’s Garden Palace was a magnificent building with a grandeur that dominated the skyline and captivated society from its opening in 1879. Three years later it was destroyed in a devastating fire.

Slide show

The quirky and obscure Hallams slide collection is a curator’s dream, revealing ordinary Australian gardens in the 1960s and 70s.

The modern garden

Outstanding gardens are revealed by leading photographers in a new exhibition.

Bringing a rare herbal back to life

Read about the conservation treatment this rare book received in preparation for our Planting Dreams exhibition.