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All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified.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

Moving images

The Library holds over 20,000 motion picture items, on videocassette, DVD and film reel formats. This collection can in many cases be requested through the Library catalogue, and viewed in the Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room using the Library’s dedicated viewing equipment. 

Sporting films

Sport is meant to be watched, and as such to truly understand a sport you need more than just books and newspaper accounts. The Library’s collection includes a sports film collection with match footage from a variety sports, sporting documentaries, as well as newsreel and archival footage, and instructional videos.

Searching our films

The best strategy for finding sports films in our collection is to enter the sport or event you are interested in, and select the ‘‘‘Video & Films’’’ format filter. Getting too many results? Add a subject filter such as Test Matches (Cricket) Australia (10 Results)

Collection highlights

Matches & events
  • Women in the surf: A 1986 documentary chronicling female surfers, including the pioneering Isabel Letham and contemporary champions such as Pam Burridge.
  • The millennium 5 sports pack: A series of five documentaries chronicling the 20th century history of the following sports: boxing, Australian rules, rugby league, horse racing and surfing.
  • The Devil’s Toy: A short film produced by the National Film Board of Canada in 1966 documenting the dawn of skateboarding in Montreal. This film has been digitised and made available on the NFB Canada website.
News & variety

Key resource: Australasian Video Online

The Library's eResource collection includes Australasian Video Online, an online streaming database of documentary and educational videos from many of Australasia’s video publishers. The collection contains more than 500 hours of content and includes video published from the mid-20th century to the present day.

The database features a range of videos relating to sport in Australia. This includes standalone documentaries such as Bombora: The Story of Australian Surfing and Roller Derby Dolls as well as episodes of documentary television series’. 

Australasian Video Online