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Unleash your creativity

Unleash your creativity
Library and Information Week 2020
24 May 2020

It’s Library and Information Week! The theme for 2020 is “Create” and with everyone spending more time at home, it’s the perfect time to get those creative juices flowing. Whether you’re starting a new hobby, or just looking for some inspiration, the National Library has something for everyone. 

Create with Library and Information Week 2020

Learn something new with eResources

If you are looking to discover a new hobby, our eResources portal can help! Here are just a few of our more creative databases: 

  • Oxford Music Online is a database full of music resources (such as Grove Music Online and The Oxford Companion to Music) where you can learn all about different musical genres and instruments.  
  • Explore Australian writing and writers with AustLit, full of biographic, bibliographic and critical information dating back to c. 1788.  
  • There are so many hobby-based magazines to browse in PressReader; with magazines about art (both traditional and digital), photography, music, cooking, knitting, sewing and much more. 

You access these databases from home by signing into our eResources portal with your National Library card (if you don’t have a card, you can apply for one online), clicking on the Browse eResources tab and searching for the name of the database.


London News Agency Photos Ltd. (1933). Charles Ulm with camera, England, 1933 http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-147683155

Spark creativity with NLA digitised content

Are you searching for some creative inspiration? The National Library has a huge collection digitised material that can be accessed from home, which can be used to inspire stories and illustrations. 

Do you love creative writing? Drawing inspiration from real-life sources (like the National Library’s digitised collections) can add so much texture and detail to a story. 

For example, is your story set in the past, perhaps in a real city? A little bit of research can go a long way and make your setting seem truly alive. Digitised maps and photographs can help you work out what the layout of the city is like and what buildings and landmarks existed at the time. Old digitised newspapers are fantastic sources of information as they can tell you so much about day-to-day life; what events were taking place, what the fashions were, what businesses were flourishing.  

Our digitised collections can also be used for visual arts, like sketching, painting or even .gif making! The National Library has an extensive collection of digitised photographs and ephemera which can be used as reference materials for your creations. For example, if you were drawing a dancer, you could explore our collection of dance and theatre photographs to find references for dance poses, costumes and more. 


Lightfoot, Louise & Burlakov, Mischa. (1937). Outdoor photograph of Moya Beaver and four other pupils of Louise Lightfoot and Mischa Burlakov in a free dance pose, ca. 1937, [1] http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-224096473

If a photograph is out of copyright, you could even use the actual photograph in your work (please see our Copyright in Library Collections page for more information about how you can use copyright-free material). 

So how can you find digitised material in our catalogue

To search for material available online, type your keywords into the catalogue search bar (for example: Dance). When you have your search results, use the NLA digital material filter (in the list on the right-hand side) to only show digitised items. You can also use the Format filters (such as Picture, Music or Book) to further narrow your results. 

Trove is the best place to look for old newspapers (prior to 1950), and for more modern newspapers (1950 onwards) have a look in the newspaper databases in our eResources portal. For more creative Trove ideas, have a look at our Trove for Creativity and Inspiration webinar.


The National Library also has a Flickr Commons account with a curated selection of digitised photographs with no known copyright restrictions. 

National Simultaneous Storytime

Not only is it Library and Information Week, May 27th is also National Simultaneous Storytime! For its 20th year anniversary, kids around Australia will be sitting down to read  

Join the National Library at 11am on May 27 for a live reading of Whitney and Britney: Chicken Divas by special guest Gabby Millgate. 

Have a wonderful Library and Information Week!



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