- What we collect
- Preserving our collections
- Building our collections
- Selected Library collections
- Collection statistics
- History of the collection
- Processing and describing our collections
Our rich and varied Pictures collection focuses on Australian people, places and events, from early European exploration of the South Pacific to contemporary events.
The Pictures collection includes material in a wide variety of formats which document significant people, places and events in Australian history and society and to some extent, the activities of Australians overseas, especially in Antarctica and Papua New Guinea.
Comprising photographs, prints, drawings, watercolours, cartoons, miniatures, paintings, architectural plans, objects and sculpture, the collection documents the lives of past and present Australians, and the communities and landscapes they inhabit.
People seeking historical images of Australian towns and landscapes, portraits of public figures, images of colonial life, early illustrations of Australian flora and fauna, political cartoons or contemporary photographs of popular culture and current events, will find the collection invaluable.
Pictures are acquired primarily for their documentary value, although the collection contains many great works of art. Our extensive photographic collections date from the invention of photography in the mid-nineteenth century until the present, ranging from early daguerreotypes to contemporary digital images. Twentieth century Australian documentary photography is particularly well represented.
Explore our Pictures collection by viewing the highlights below:
- Ducie collection of First Fleet art - Australian flora and fauna water colours by First Fleet artist George Raper (1788)
- Ellis Rowan and Australian flora and fauna - beautiful botanical watercolours painted in the late 19th and early 20th century.
- Jeff Carter collection - photographs of 20th century Australia and Australians
- Peter Dombrovskis collection - photographic collection of the Tasmanian wilderness
- Buckland collection - a collection of photographs, papers and memorabilia relating to railways