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It’s all History to us: Local libraries, Local History and the National History Curriculum

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It’s all History to us: Local libraries, Local History and the National History Curriculum. Karen Brandwood Education Librarian. Services. For students and teachers

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It’s all History to us: Local libraries, Local History and the National History Curriculum

Karen Brandwood

Education Librarian



For students and teachers

Library tours includes an orientation to library services and resources, an explanation on how to use the catalogues; a demonstration of online databases; showing students how to access material in microfilm/fiche format; and how to access primary resources onsite and online.

On-site tours are offered to groups of primary, secondary, tertiary and TAFE students and tours can be tailored to meet subject needs or areas of interest



The main chamber of the Mortlock Wing is an exhibition space which offers a window on the history and culture of South Australia. There are special features on people, places, issues and events that have shaped the state and contributed to its development.

The exhibition is well captioned so you can easily explore on your own. Entry is free.

Open: 10am-5pm every day

The exhibition bays in the Mortlock Wing are arranged by following themes:

The beginnings of the State Library of South Australia - A trunk full of books

The discovery and exploration of South Australia by Europeans - Taking it to the edge

Shipping in South Australia - Wooden walls and iron sides

Social reforms in South Australia - The radical dream

Arts in South Australia - The state of the arts

Architecture in South Australia - From the ground up

State Library\'s collection of wine literature - Wine literature of the world

Sport in South Australia - This sporting life

Childhood in South Australia - To be a child

Religion in South Australia - South Australia\'s Christian heritage

Life on emigration - A rich tapestry

The Mortlock Chamber photographed in 2004



The State Library of South Australia has the largest collection of the state\'s newspapers from 1836 to the present. In many cases there are no other copies of these newspapers in existence.

The Library holds all major Australian newspapers from their earliest issues, usually in microfilm format, as well as major overseas newspapers of record, also on microfilm.



Personal and Family Histories

D 2685 (L)/3 Letter written by Rosina (Mrs. William) Ferguson to her parents and friends in England, while in Adelaide, South Australia (15 February 1837).

From SA Memory


Present and past family life

PRG 1316/4/169 A woman kisses her baby at a Sunday School picnic at Alberton Oval, while her young son looks on to other activities. Ca. 1925

View this photograph and more from Quick Search on

State Library of South Australia homepage


The past in the present

The State Library is developing walking tours for mobile devices.

The Orientation to the State Library of South Australia is a self-guided orientation tour highlights the collections, services and resources available at the State Library of South Australia.The State Library of South Australia trail provides participants an understanding of the diverse range of resources held by the Library and a feel for its public spaces.

Historic walking tours include Lost Adelaide which features snapshots of lost buildings in Adelaide. Compare historical photos from the Library\'s rich collections to the architecture of today and Significant South Australians  a walking tour of Adelaide\'s North Terrace plaques and statues will introduce you to some exceptional people who have shaped South Australia\'s history.


Community and Remembrance

PRG 280/1/18/7 A large crowd at the newly erected Anzac Arch near the Adelaide Railway Station on Anzac Day. Ca. 1918


First Contact

SA Memory

PRG 315/4 On 12 October 1896, Lawrence Wells recorded in his diary that he saw some footprints of Aboriginal people and some crows. These were the few signs of life in the barren expanse of the Great Sandy Desert of Western Australia that the Calvert Scientific Expedition was crossing.

PRG 404/19/3/49 Babbage, Benjamin Herschel, 1858.

RGS John McDouall Stuart. Confrontation with

Aboriginal men : diary 26 May 1861


Australian Colonies

Home access to eResources


Australia as a nation

Subject websites

The State Library of South Australia has developed a range of websites using collection materials.  These sites act as an introduction to a subject area and our collections and are recommended for secondary schools students and teachers as well as the casual researcher.

Subject websites

B 13412 King William Street during the visit of the Duke of York, for Federation in1901. Recently installed electricity powered the illuminations which decorated the Town Hall and Post Office buildings


Making of the Modern World : World War 1

Memorial Boxes: six titles in the series:

Box 01– Australia in the First World War

Box 02 – Vietnam: the Australian experience

Box 03 – Too dark for the Light Horse: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the defence forces

Box 04 – Australia under attack!

Box 05 – We want to do more: the experience of women and children during the Second World War

Box 06 – Our war in the Pacific, 1942

South Australians at War


The Modern World and Australia : World War 2

PRG 1187 Cummings, Hamilton Norman. War diary of Hamilton Norman Cummings


Ancient to Modern World

Treasures of the State Library : History of the book

Clay tablet ca. 2400 – 2300 BC

Burmese leaf book ca. 185?

The Glorious Antiphonal late 13th Century

Sharh-i risalat barkawi Muhammad Effendi 1782