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All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified.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

Pictures & sound

Pictures collection

Panoramic painting of Sydney Harbour in 1894 with yachts on water and green headland

[Panoramic view of Sydney Harbour and the city skyline], 1894 /painted by Arthur Streeton

The Library’s Picture collection is one of the most significant historical and documentary collections in Australia, comprising over a quarter of a million artworks and some two million photographs. The collection represents one of the country’s most significant visual representations of life in Australia.

Sound collection

Audio equipment with tapes and reel to reel recordings in foreground

The Library’s sound collection includes oral histories, radio interviews, talks, podcasts, performances and seminars. Our long-running oral history program has captured many important Australian stories, with a range of interviewees both high-profile and unknown. Discover more with our Oral History and Sound research guide.

Accessing pictures & sound

Many of the Library’s pictures are categorised as original materials and you will need a Special Collections card to access them. Items will be issued in the Special Collections area of the Mitchell Library Reading Room and some may require a supervised viewing.

Some of our sound collections are available as digital files on request and others may be accessed on Library equipment in the Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room.

Terms of access vary depending on the format of the material and any item-specific conditions which may apply. To request a viewing, complete an Access to Special Collections Request form, or for more information Ask a Librarian.

Digitised items

Digitised collection material can be viewed and downloaded via our Digital Collections viewer. Any digitised item will also appear in the main Library catalogue

Photograph of woman in mid air completing a long jump watched by another woman

Womens sports on Saturdays/ photographed by Ivan Ives

Collection highlight: Surf boards, Maroubra 1944