Pictures Collections

A guide to finding and using the Pictures collection at the State Library of New South Wales.

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All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified.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

Getting started

This guide will help you to find and use our picture collections for your area of research.

The State Library's Picture collections form one of the most significant historical and documentary collections in Australia, comprising over a quarter of a million artworks and some two million photographs.

Artworks include watercolours, prints, drawings, silhouettes, miniatures, framed works (including oil paintings), architectural plans, black and white drawings and realia. The collections document the lives of past and present Australians, their society and buildings and landscapes.

Whether you are an academic, a student, an author, a family historian or local historian, a professional researcher or simply interested in a particular topic, this guide should help you to get started on your research. 

George Street, Sydney, 1883 / Alfred Tischbauer

George Street, Sydney, 1883, painting by Alfred Tischbauer