State Library of South Australia

Our interactive Story Wall turns the light on a new chapter of stories

Date: 21 March 2016

In November 2015 we turned on South Australia's brightest new attraction - the Story Wall. A state-of-the-art permanent architectural projection, the Story Wall uses imagery and sound to tell the stories that have helped shape South Australia. To coincide with the Adelaide Fringe and Festival of Arts, we released a new chapter of stories. As with all the stories on the Story Wall the content is sourced entirely from our diverse collections.

Story Wall at the State Library Photographer Craig Laurendet
Story Wall at the State Library, photographer Craig Laurendet

Interactive Pod

After four months the Story Wall has entered an exciting new phase with the installation of an interactive pod.

The pod allows you to personalise your Story Wall experience and select the stories of interest to you. You can select the stories through our menu:

  • For Kids
  • A-Z Collections
  • New
  • Top 10
  • About Story Wall

Similar to a 1950s jukebox, selected stories are queued. So when one story finishes the next one in the queue plays - no need to worry about interrupting a story someone is watching.

People using the interactive pod at the Story Wall Photographer Craig Laurendet

People using the interactive pod at the Story Wall, photographer Craig Laurendet

Glamour of the Fringe and Festival

It's a great time to be in Adelaide when the Adelaide Fringe and Festival of Arts arrive. Our quirky new Festivalia stories take you back 55 years to the very beginnings of the Adelaide Festival of Arts and its grand gala opening. Hear what the Queen Mother, Max Harris and Dave Brubeck had in common and the history of performance venues. With the return of Pina Bausch for this year's Festival, we delved into our collection to share what happened when the German dance theatre company performed in Adelaide 34 years ago.

Crowds flocked to see all that the Fringe had to offer, including the Fringe Illuminations. They saw our magnificent heritage buildings illuminated with 'Dreaming Light', stories of the Kaurna culture. Being part of this exciting project allowed us to showcase our collections in an innovative and engaging way. Through this project we also helped increase awareness and understanding of the Kaurna culture.

We were thrilled to see hundreds of people soaking in our new stories. One of our most popular stories is the animated Fringe posters. This story brings to life Fringe posters from our collection, dating back to 1974.

World War One

From the glitz of the Fringe and Festival, the Story Wall then takes you to the battlefields of World War One. We hear deeply moving stories from personal letters written by families in Australia longing to hear news about their loved ones. Nurse Blanche Atkinson's mother wants to know where her daughter is, while the mother of Private WS Burman longs to know how her son died.

These personal insights are sourced from the South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau Collection - a collection of letters of enquiry and eyewitness accounts from the battlefields of WWI. For three years, from 1916-1919, the Bureau dealt with grief, loss and the trauma of war.  They researched and coordinated more than 8,000 enquiries from family and friends of missing Australians fighting in WWI. This historical collection was donated to the Library in 1919 and has recently been digitised to allow easier access. The Story Wall offers the community a very direct and personal way to experience these historic accounts.

Set in 1914, as the start of WW1 looms, the Story Wall reveals the next episode in the 'Anzac story: the Diaries of Leo Terrell'. What has happened for Leo since the 8 June 1914? In the first episode we learned that Terrell was an ironworker frustrated with the lack of work in South Australia. Did Leo find work and what was the impact of the declaration of war? Leo's stories are all taken directly from his diaries which were donated to the Library in 2003 as part of the Terrell Family archive.

What about Bob the Railway Dog?

Our wonderful stories of our much-loved Bob the Railway Dog, Pageant memories, pop-up books, trunk full of books and many more are still showing on the Story Wall - all available through the interactive pod menu. You can watch them as many times as you like.

Crowds enjoying the Story Wall Photographer Craig Laurendet

Crowds enjoying the Story Wall, photographer Craig Laurendet

Many painstaking hours are poured into making these stories and more come to life. Stories are researched; content sourced; copyright permissions for use of images, music and sound arranged and scripts written, edited, rehearsed and recorded. The magic of what is projected onto the wall is then created by Cindi Drennan and her team at Illuminart.

Connect with the Story Wall

Every night of the year from sunset to midnight, in the Library Forecourt, the voices and imagery of South Australia's past are on display for all to interact with.

To keep up-to-date with the latest news and exciting developments, or watch videos of the Story Wall, connect with the Story Wall Facebook page.

Story Wall Facebook page

Story by: Tracey Parnis, Communications Officer

Back to stories


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