The extraordinary events of the past few months are unprecedented in our lifetimes, but the response to the Covid-19 pandemic contains echoes of the 1918–19 influenza outbreak. The Library is one of many institutions following the lead of our forebears.
On 29 April 1770, the Gweagal people of Kamay (Botany Bay) discovered James Cook and his crew as they sailed into the bay and came ashore. The eight days that followed changed the course of Australia’s history. 250 years later the events of those eight days and their continuing impact are still being debated, contested, felt.
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.