Oral History and Sound 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All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified.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

Accessing the collections

Searching the Catalogue

Our easy-to-use catalogue enables powerful searching across the Library’s vast collections and digital resources, including our Oral History and Sound collections. Many of our Oral History and Sound collections are available as digital files on request.

Start by doing a simple keyword search using the keywords 'nonmusical sound recordings' and the subject you're interested in. For example ‘nonmusical sound recordings and Newcastle’ will give you details of all oral history and sound related to Newcastle that is held in our collections.

Accessing the Collection

After searching the catalogue and identifying an item, the best way to access the Oral History and Sound Collections is to make a request through our Access to Collections Request form.

Some items may be restricted and require written permission from the interviewer or interviewee.

If you're unsure about the collections you wish to access, or if you need more information about accessing restricted collections, you can use our online Ask a Librarian service.

Copyright and our Collections

Various copying and publishing conditions apply to content in the Library's collections, depending on material type, age and whether a donor rights agreement is in place.

Material in the Manuscripts, oral history and pictures catalogue that is not in copyright may be used freely and for any purpose such as a school project or thesis, in a presentation to your local history society, on blogs, or for commercial purposes. Please acknowledge that the material is from the collections of the State Library of NSW.

For the copyright status of individual items, please refer to the catalogue record. It's your responsibility to check the copyright status of material and if the material is in copyright you will need to seek permission from the copyright owner.

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