Sport Collections

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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

Programs and Souvenirs

Match programs & event guides

Match-day programs have long been a part of the live sporting experience, providing spectators with event times and schedules, competitor lists, venue details and more. Although increasingly a relic of the past as new technologies reduce demand for printed programs, they are of great value to researchers. 

Watercolour drawing of Hyde Park racecourse, Sydney. Background depictions of Ols Supreme Court, Hyde Park Barracks, and miscellaneous colonial buildings.

Part of Sydney & St James' Church from the square called the Race Course, 1844 / Jacob Janssen

The oldest sports program in our collection is a program for a racing event held on 12 August 1811. The meeting took place at the Hyde Park Racecourse, which had begun staging events the previous year. The Sydney Gazette reported that Mr Bent’s horse Match’em, ridden by Thomas Atkins, won the plate.

Suggested search strategy
[Keyword= Sport name] + [Subject= Programs (publications)]


Trading cards have been a popular focus of sports collectors for over a century. The Library’s collection includes cricket and horseracing cards from the early 20th century, general sports cards, and football (Rugby League) cards beginning in the 1960s.

The Library’s sporting cards are issued as Special Collections, and in some cases require a supervised viewing. Requests for access can be made via the Access to Special Collections Request form.

Sporting cards in the State Library of NSW collection


•    Wills's Cigarettes [picture]: [collection of cigarette cards featuring Australian and English cricketers]
•    Australian and English cricketers [picture]: ... a series of prominent Australian and English cricketers
•    This is the second series of 32 prominent cricketers [picture]: [collection of advertising cards]
•    Test cricketers 1932-1933 [picture]: issued with B.D.V. Cigarettes
•    Test cricketers [picture]: a series of 36: [advertising cards]
•    Leading cricketers [picture]: a series of 32 [cards]
•    Collection of Scanlens bubble-gum cards for Australian cricket, including Sheffield Shield, Ashes and World Series Cricket series
•    Aussie cricket superstars in action [picture]: giant full colour action photocard[s] / Scanlens
•    Scanlens cricket sticker album


•    Series of sports champions etc. [picture]: [collection of advertising cards] 1932
•    B.D.V. Cigarettes [picture]: [Collection of cigarette cards featuring Australian sports people] 1933
•    Collection of sporting cards, including bubble-gum cards] [picture]: [for rugby league, Australian rules football, cricket and golf]


•    Melbourne Cup winners [picture]: [collection of cigarettes cards]
•    Standard Cigarettes [picture]: [collection of cigarette cards featuring Australian jockeys] 1906
•    Standard Cigarettes [picture]: [collection of cigarette cards featuring scenes from Australian horse racing]
•    Standard cigarettes [picture]: [collection of cigarette cards featuring Australian jockeys] 1915
•    Magpie Cigarettes [picture]: [collection of cigarette cards featuring Australian jockeys] 1921
•    Australian race horses [picture]: a series of 24 actual photographs

Rugby League

•    Collection of Scanlens bubble-gum cards for the New South Wales Rugby Football League [picture]
•    1994 Kangaroo heroes: Australian Rugby League collector card set / Dynamic Marketing [picture]
•    '94 Masters: Official trading card album / Dynamic Marketing [picture]
•    1995 Rugby League trading cards: Official trading card album / Dynamic Marketing [picture]
•    Official 2008 NRL Collector cards [picture]
•    Official 2009 NRL Collector cards [picture]

Collection highlight: Racing Kalendar