- What we collect
- Preserving our collections
- Building our collections
- Selected Library collections
- Collection statistics
- History of the collection
- Processing and describing our collections
The National Library, your home of Australian stories, is proud to be the custodian of the papers of the legendary Australian bush poet A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson (1864-1941), famous as the author of The Man from Snowy River and Australia's best-loved folk song, Waltzing Matilda.
After being held by four generations of the Paterson family, in 2019 the Library acquired a collection relating to this iconic Australian which represented the last remaining material not already held in a public institution. The collection contains an array of handwritten diaries, notebooks, drafts, correspondence, photographs and even an unpublished memoir.
In 2020, thanks to the generous support of the Australian public, the collection was digitised and made available online.
Prior to being digitised, a number of the items from the collection were selected for conservation treatment to stabilise their condition, including a portrait of Paterson at the time of his return from the Boer War.
Part of the Library's work in this area includes undertaking assessment, treatment, housing, storage review, surveys and collection stabilisation work for loans, digitsation projects and exhibitions.
The treatment of the photograph consisted of a number of steps, including:
Continuing it's journey through the Library, the photograph will soon be installed in the Treasures Gallery enabling visitors to come face-to-face with the celebrated Australian poet in a display highlighting both Paterson and Henry Lawson. The new displays coming to the Treasures Gallery will be in place from Friday 25 June.
The Treasures Gallery is open daily from 9am to 5pm – no bookings are required.
Uncover the story of Banjo Paterson and the 120-year-old chocolate box.
Interested in supporting the National Library? Help us share the stories of the Australian Federation of Women Voters.