A bright sunny day with a group of elderly people sitting in a line in wheelchairs, all with knitted blankets over their knees.
Matthew Sleeth, Residents of a Retirement Home are Wheeled onto the Footpath to Watch the Queen, Western Freeway, Friday 24 March 2000, nla.obj-145875044, copyright courtesy Matthew Sleeth and Josef Lebovic Gallery, Sydney

Private, even intimate, images of ordinary Australians represent one of the strengths of the Library’s Collection. They serve to communicate, with great immediacy, the larger picture of Australian life.

But photographers have also taken arresting images of events that form part of our broader collective memory. Some of these events are quite local, but nonetheless significant in the history of a particular town or community. Others unfold on a national scale, such as major protests and political rallies, big sporting events, catastrophic natural disasters or the current COVID-19 pandemic.