Ocean baths

Ocean baths are abundant in Sydney and along the New South Wales coast, reflecting our love of the ocean and, perhaps, an ambivalence towards the surf. These man-made pools filled with ocean water grew in popularity in the late 19th century and to this day offer... read more

Whaling in Sydney

Over the weekend we heard that more than 140 whales had died after becoming stranded on a New Zealand beach. It’s a sad story and reminded us that whaling was for many years one of Sydney’s (and Australia’s) main industries, so today we thought we’d... read more


FREE downloadable units of study linked to the Australian history curriculum here.


Catch up on our latest news here including reviews of some of the best books in 2016.

PIC: Man reading newspaper on deck of ferry approaching Circular Quay, 1906. By Harold Cazneaux. Contributed by National Library of Australia (nla.pic-an23242011).


The free Dictionary of Sydney app for your mobile device has four self directed walking tours for you to explore. Click here for details.


4 days ago

The Dictionary of Sydney

“It’s midnight at the library and all the doors are shut fast…”

Enter through a library’s locked doors after dark and discover the story of stories in our new children’s book ‘Midnight at the Library’. This beautifully written story evokes wonder and appreciation for the creation and preservation of books and culture, with masterful illustrations that show the journey of a special book through time, from the printing press through to its final home in a library.

This ageless story, brought to you by internationally acclaimed author Ursula Dubosarsky and illustrator Ron Brooks, is sure to captivate the hearts of all book-lovers.

Buy it today from the National Library Bookshop during their Christmas sale with 20% off: bookshop.nla.gov.au/book/midnight-at-the-library.do

Find out more about NLA Publishing and our award-winning list of titles: publishing.nla.gov.au/pages/home.do #NLAPublishing
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4 days ago

The Dictionary of Sydney

#ConservationTip of the month - how to remove blood from paper. Metal clips on documents can be a hazard: if you find you have bled on your beloved family history papers, do not despair, speedy action will probably result in little or no permanent damage > ow.ly/TwWR30mnyAo ... See MoreSee Less

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5 days ago

The Dictionary of Sydney

It’s Sydney’s turn to help test some new page layouts for Trove!

We will be in the Sydney area on 17-18 December to test some new screen designs. No experience with Trove is needed so share this with your kids, grandkids, friends or colleagues.

If you or someone you know is interested, send your name and contact number to trove@nla.gov.au. The sessions are individual, take about 45 mins, and compensation is provided for your time.
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Detail from MS Hill's 1888 map 'The City of Sydney',  a birds-eye view over the city looking to the south and west across Darling Harbour. http://dictionaryofsydney.org/image/97526

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