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All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified.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

Print Collections

Print collections in this context refer to any published written material. This includes books, newspapers and magazines, and any other item produced or published for distribution. In this section we will explore the Library’s extensive collection of printed sporting material.

The State Library of NSW has one of the most significant collections of printed material in Australia. The collection includes the first book published in Australia, the first newspaper and the first novel. Other collection highlights include Australia’s only known copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, published in 1623. 

Want to know more about our printed collection treasures? Take a virtual tour with our Rare Books and Special Collections research guide, or visit our Significant Collections page.

But it’s not just about the rare and precious. As one of Australia’s leading research libraries, the State Library of NSW is home to over 2 million books and hundreds of thousands of newspapers, magazines, journals, annual reports, newsletters and more.

Legal Deposit

The State Library of NSW is also a legal deposit library, meaning that under NSW legislation, NSW-based publishers are required to lodge a copy of any published work with the Library. Legal deposit is an important principle in ensuring our cultural heritage is collected and retained. The benefit as a Library user is that with a legal deposit library like the State Library of NSW you have access to a huge and ever-growing collection of locally published works, encompassing any book or periodical published in the state. 

Learn more about Legal Deposit here.

The National eDeposit

Launched in 2019, the National eDeposit scheme (NED) was borne out of an extension to Legal Deposit legislation in 2016 to cover digital publications as well as print. A collaboration between Australian State and National libraries, NED collects digital publications and makes them accessible online through Trove (access conditions may apply).

Learn more about NED here.

Collection highlight: Shakespeare's First Folio

Title page and verso of Shakespeare's First FolioShakespeare's First Folio, 1623

The Library has had a long association with Shakespeare and is the unofficial home of Shakespeare in Australia. Our collection includes a copy of each of the four folios published in the 17th century, while the Shakespeare Room, located in the Mitchell Building, is one of the Library's many hidden treasures.

Find out more about Shakespeare at the Library.

National E-Deposit item: Ella by Mark Ella

Cover of book Ella by Mark Ella, with Mark Ella in Wallabies jersey playing football

Ella: The Definitive Biography, available digitally onsite at all Australian State and National libraries through the National eDeposit scheme (NED).