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Stories from our exhibitions

Current exhibitions

Paintings from the Collection More than 300 original artworks from the Library’s unique collection of landscape and portrait paintings on permanent public display.

Convict artists in the time of Governor Macquarie

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

Eternally yours

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.

Conrad Martens and George Edwards Peacock: Sydney artists

Artists have always been attracted to the natural beauty of Sydney Harbour and its foreshores.
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Past exhibitions

Internee collections: diaries of ‘enemy aliens’

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.

The Magic Pudding

In October 1918 Angus & Robertson published what would become one of Australia’s best known children’s stories: The Magic Pudding.

Woollen comforts from home

It is estimated that over one million pairs of socks were knitted by Australian women and children during the war. 

George Bell, prisoner of war

George Bell was a bank officer from Port Headland, Western Australia.

World War I diaries

The Library's collection of World War I diaries offers a glimpse into the life of Australians at war. 

Miles Franklin

‘Heaven could be no more magical and mystical than unspoiled Australia' - the brilliant career of Miles Franklin.

Slide show

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

Conrad Martens and George Edwards Peacock: Sydney artists

Artists have always been attracted to the natural beauty of Sydney Harbour and its foreshores.

The modern garden

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

Family Keeps Us Going

Portraits and Stories of Families of Aboriginal Nations Living in South-West Sydney by Jagath Dheerasekara.

Writing at Gallipoli

First hand accounts of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.

From Terra Australis to Australia

Discover the original journals, logbooks, letters, paintings and drawings covering the voyage of the First Fleet, the mutiny on the Bounty and Matthew Flinders' journeys.