The Pictures collection includes material in a wide variety of formats which document significant people, places and events in Australian history and society and to some extent, the activities of Australians overseas, especially in Antarctica and Papua New Guinea.

Comprising photographs, prints, drawings, watercolours, cartoons, miniatures, paintings, architectural plans, objects and sculpture, the collection documents the lives of past and present Australians, and the communities and landscapes they inhabit.

People seeking historical images of Australian towns and landscapes, portraits of public figures, images of colonial life, early illustrations of Australian flora and fauna, political cartoons or contemporary photographs of popular culture and current events, will find the collection invaluable.

Pictures are acquired primarily for their documentary value, although the collection contains many great works of art. Our extensive photographic collections date from the invention of photography in the mid-nineteenth century until the present, ranging from early daguerreotypes to contemporary digital images. Twentieth century Australian documentary photography is particularly well represented. 


Explore our Pictures collection by viewing the highlights below: