We believe in a world where every Australian has free access to the stories and images of their past. 

Donate online or call 02 6262 1336 by 31 July 2019.


Vintage advertising posters are a remarkable part of the National Library of Australia's collection. Big, bold and hard to miss, they have cleverly enticed curious and intrepid travellers to our shores, lured leisure seekers and seduced everyday consumers with fresh ideas about how good life can be in Australia. While the posters have physically aged, the messages they convey and the stories they tell endure. 

Advertising posters represent the ideas of their times, showcase printing techniques and are often spectacularly illustrated by artists such as Gert Sellheim (1901-1970) and Percy Trompf (1902-1964), as well as others who are tantalising in their anonymity. 

The National Library holds over 7,000 Australian advertising posters produced before 1950. While a small number are freely available to view online, most of the collection can only be seen onsite at the Library in Canberra. 

Preservation staff working on poster

A preservation staff member assesses Soap: Its Composition and Manufacture, produced by Lever Brothers Ltd, Sydney, around 1900

The papers on which they were printed are increasingly brittle with age and many are too delicate to handle. Your gift will help us preserve these fragile artefacts and provide free online access to them for all to study and enjoy. 

Your gift takes our national collection to every Australian.

Donate now. Together, we can preserve the past for the future.

Donate or call 02 6262 1336.

This appeal closes on 31 July 2019. 

Any donations received after this date will go to the National Library of Australia Fund, which supports conservation and digitisation of the Library's collection. 

Illustration of rosella bird and Rosella branding

Rosella Pure Food Products, Vegetables with Sausages, between 1940 and 1959, nla.cat-vn6446749