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All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified.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

Oral History/Sound

Our sound collection includes recorded oral histories, radio interviews, talks, podcasts, performances and seminars.

Most of our oral histories, in addition to some other sound items, are available as digital files. To request access, complete an Access to Special Collections Request form and our Library staff can advise on next steps.

Oral history

Oral history collects personal experiences and memories, recorded as audio interviews. The Library holds a significant collection totalling over 10,000 audio hours of recordings. Our collection aims to capture a diversity of voices and experiences that together help to explain the richness of life in New South Wales. 

Find some highlights from our oral history collection here.

Sporting oral histories

Our oral history collection includes the following interviews with sporting personalities:

Skateboarder Poppy Starr Olsen standing on indoor halfpipe with skateboard

Photograph of Poppy Starr Olsen, 10 May 2018 / by Tanya Evans

Finding other sound collections

The Library’s sound collection includes more than just oral history, and a catalogue search using a sport and the format filter ‘Audio’ may produce results in the following categories:

  • radio broadcasts and interviews
  • recordings of live events
  • training resources
  • music.

These may be catalogued individually as published collection items or included as part of manuscript collections. Check the catalogue record of any item you wish to hear for access conditions. Unsure? Ask a Librarian.

Collection highlight: The papers of Roy & H.G.

Photograph of Australian comedy Duo Roy & HG in recording studio

Roy & H.G. (Wikimedia Commons)

Greig Pickhaver and John Doyle, better known as HG & Roy, are among Australia’s most beloved and enduring comedic teams. Their sport-based radio and television programs have been broadcast on various stations and networks for over 30 years, and their long-running radio program This Sporting Life has been added to the National Film and Sound Archive’s Sounds of Australia register.

The State Library holds Greig Pickhaver’s papers, which include a number of sound files and are divided into four collections:

The Library also holds a smaller collection of John Doyle’s papers. Along with paper-based material, the collection includes radio recordings such as This Sporting Life episodes and HG and Roy’s broadcast of the 1980 VFL Grand Final (Richmond vs Collingwood).