Sport Collections

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are kindly advised that this website includes images, sounds and names of people who have passed.

All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified. Certain words, terms or descriptions may reflect the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written, but are now considered inappropriate in today's context.

Key to library resources

Access anywhere with a library card In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)
Available to access in the library Only in the Library
Publicly available online Publicly available


Sports research can extend beyond what is offered at the State Library of NSW. Below is a selection of useful websites to further your research journey.

Archived websites

Pandora was established by the National Library of Australia in 1996 to capture and preserve Australia’s internet heritage. The NLA has since partnered with major Australian libraries and other cultural institutions, including the State Library of NSW.

Pandora is fully searchable via Trove, and Trove’s web archive search also includes archived Australian government and .au websites.

Pandora’s archive is arranged by subject. To browse the full collection of sports websites, see the Sports and Recreation section.

Providing a similar internet archive to Pandora in an international context is The Wayback Machine, incorporated as part of the Internet Archive.


 Information on Australian sports stadia, arenas, motor tracks and other sporting venues. Includes crowd data as well as a wealth of other useful information.

Includes articles, videos and statistics relating to Australian Rules football, covering both the national AFL/AFLW competitions and state-based leagues in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania.

A leading cricket history resource that includes current and historic statistical information, news and blog posts, as well as live, ball-by-ball match coverage from cricketing fixtures across the world.

The official website of the International Olympic Committee, featuring news and video content, information on upcoming Summer and Winter Games, and an online archive of records and results for every Olympiad since Athens 1896.

Match information and player statistics covering a range of Australian soccer competitions and teams, including men’s and women’s national teams, the national A-League competition and various state leagues.

An extensive collection of Rugby League player and competition statistics, covering Australia’s National Rugby League (and predecessors), major English Rugby League competitions, and representative fixtures from around the world.


A national association formed in the wake of Australia’s first academic sports conference in 1977. Sporting Traditions is a long-running, biennial conference, also supported by the publication of the Sporting Traditions journal.

The British counterpart to the Australian Society of Sports History. The BSSH publish the quarterly journal Sport in History and hold regular seminars and conferences.

A Sport Australia initiative, providing access to news and academic articles as well as free online access to a range of sporting publications including annual reports, policy guidelines and strategic planning documents. Access is free but requires the creation of an account.

A Library of Congress website providing access to historical news articles from the USA. The database is fully searchable as well as arranging news articles by subject. The sporting section includes such subjects as baseball’s World Series, the Indianapolis-500 and the roller skating craze.

An archive of reports, oral histories, articles on sport and Olympic Games history. The LA84 collection is extensive in size and scope, covering a wide variety of sports. The resources available are freely accessible.

Key resource: Trove

Trove is hosted by the National Library of Australia (NLA) but features material and resources from hundreds of libraries around the country. You can learn more here

So what is Trove? Here are the basics:

i. A library catalogue

Use Trove to access the library catalogues of Australian state & national libraries (such as the State Library of NSW), public and university libraries, along with a diverse array of specialist libraries from across the country.

ii. A digital repository

Trove is the access point for a huge collection of freely available digitised material. This includes an extraordinary collection of digitised newspapers, beginning with the Sydney Gazette in 1803 and including most major Australian newspapers as well as a huge, ever-growing set of regional titles. Articles are fully searchable and available to print or download.

Other digitised material available on Trove includes:

  • magazines and newsletters
  • government gazettes
  • full-text books
  • images
  • maps
  • oral histories & sound recordings
  • original material/manuscripts
  • archived websites.
iii. A research space

With such a large variety of material available on Trove, there are many ways to tailor it to your research needs:

While Trove, in partnership with libraries across Australia, continues to add digitised material on a regular basis, researchers will still need to visit libraries to access non-digitised material. Trove allows you to search through library holdings Australia-wide, to find out who holds what you need, and how to access it.

After creating a Trove account, you may create customised lists of any items you find. You are also able to view other user lists that have been made publicly available.

Trove allows users to correct text on newspapers. This improves the searching capabilities for future users. Pick out a favourite sport, athlete or topic, sign in to Trove, and get correcting!