National Library of Australia


From the Physical to the Digital

This projection follows the transformation of how the Library has shared its collection and knowledge with the public since 1968, showing the increasing influence of the digital world, both in how collection material is accessed, and how born-digital material is collected.  The projection features The Canberra Times of 15 August 1968, which included a four-page supplement celebrating the opening of the National Library of Australia. In our modern digital era, this same digitised newspaper can now be freely accessed on Trove –

The Who

This psychedelic poster was designed by Australian illustrator and designer Ian McCausland for The Who’s 1968 tour of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. McCausland designed albums and posters for many bands in the 1960s and 1970s, including Daddy Cool, Skyhooks and the Rolling Stones. Don’t miss this poster in the Library’s new exhibition, 1968: Changing Times, on display until 12 August 2018. More information on the artwork of Ian McCausland can be found on his website,

Card Catalogue

This National Library of Australia card catalogue was designed by furniture designer Fred Ward, and was specially made with native Australian timbers. The card catalogue was an integral part of any pre-digital library, organising and sharing bibliographic information about the material in a collection on small alphabetised cards. The card catalogue at the Library was used to quickly access information about books, including author’s name, book title and location of the book. This information is now easily accessible in the online Library’s catalogue (, however some card catalogues can still be viewed during behind-the-scenes tours at the Library.

A New National Library (Max Dupain)

In 1968, Australian early modernist photographer Max Dupain (1911-1922) was commission to shoot a series of photographs of the new National Library building, showcasing the design of architect Walter Bunning.  Here a collage of his images capture the style and atmosphere of the newly opened Library.

Strange, Beautiful and Unexpected

In this literary-inspired projection treatment by The Electric Canvas, delve into the pages of open books that have become something other than mere vessels for texts and images. These books are the protagonists in their own strange, beautiful and unexpected universes.