Finding pictures

  • Search our catalogue - most pictures material is described in our catalogue.
  • Tip: Narrow your search to only pictures by selecting the 'Pictures' format filter.
  • Visit the Special Collections Reading Room to view original material.
  • If you have any questions, please contact us.

Using the collection

  • Some material may have access restrictions and may require permission to view. Check the catalogue record or contact us before your visit.
  • Request material to view by logging into the catalogue with your Library card and submitting an online request. See our collection delivery service and online video for more information.
  • When ready, material will be available to view in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Special storage conditions

Material such as negatives, slides, glass plates and colour prints are held in special storage areas for their preservation. These are fragile and require an acclimatisation period before being delivered for use. We may ask you to use a digital or print version of the image instead. Please contact us one week before your visit to discuss your request for these materials.

Collections not fully arranged and described

Some Pictures collections are not fully arranged and described and so may need time to make ready before they can be used. These are described as ‘Pictures retrospective arrears’ on the catalogue record. For these collections please contact us 4 weeks before your visit to discuss your request and allow time for material to be prepared for use.

Getting a copy for study or research

  1. Find the item record in the catalogue 
  2. If the item has been digitised you will be able to see a thumbnail on the catalogue record
  3. Select the thumbnail and you can then print or download a low resolution (72 dpi) copy.

Digital cameras can be used where access conditions allow and you agree to comply with the Copyright Act and correct care and handling of material guidelines.

Getting a high resolution copy

  1. Find the item record in the catalogue
  2. Select the 'Order a copy' tab at the bottom of the catalogue record
  3. Click on 'Add to cart' to open the online order form
  4. Follow the instructions provided by the Copies Direct service.

Publishing pictures from our collection

Note that not all images (both in and out of copyright) on our website are freely available for public use.  In many cases the National Library has been granted permission by the creator to display images for research and study only.  If you wish to use an image for a purpose other than research and study, please fill in our Intention to Publish form.

Images in the Fairfax archive of glass plate negatives are out of copyright however Fairfax has granted the National Library of Australia a licence only to use, reproduce, communicate, publish, modify, adapt and exploit these images for non-commercial purposes.  You may save or print the online images for research and study; private or domestic use only.  If you wish to use them for any other purpose, please submit an Intention to Publish form.

To order a high resolution electronic copy or print of a Fairfax image for research and study; private or domestic use, place an order through Copies Direct. To order or license a copy for publication or commercial purposes please order directly via the Fairfax Syndication website.

For more information see: How do I declare my intention to publish?


How do I acknowledge the Library in my publication?

Contacting the Pictures and Manuscripts team

Use the Ask a Librarian service to lodge an online enquiry with us.
Phone: (+61) 2 6262 1259