One of the National Library’s treasures, a 1796 theatre playbill, has been added to the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register.

The playbill, which advertises a theatrical performance in Sydney on Saturday 30 July 1796, is believed to be the earliest surviving printed document in Australia.

The Australian Register is one of the 60 Memory of the World programs established globally to ensure that valuable archive holdings and library collections are kept safe for future generations.

The playbill was given to the National Library in 2007 as a gift from the Canadian Government after it was found in a box of Canadian ephemera by a rare books bibliographer from Library and Archives Canada.

The playbill will go on permanent display when the National Library’s Treasures Gallery opens in October this year.

View it online