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Littering. It isn't worth the shame of a $20 fine. Poster circa. 1980

Signs of the times

The stories that make us

Since antiquity, the practice of posting up hand-drawn public notices has been a major source of communication. Even in the internet age, posters continue to...

Imperial Hotel, 1957. SLSA: PRG 1662/9/59

Gunman robs city hotels

It was an eventful afternoon in Adelaide one Thursday in October 1952. Port Pirie Recorder , 17 October 1952, p1 Oriental Hotel, corner Gawler Place...

Architecture Crime and infamy History Hotels and pubs

Tiny Appeals to Patriotism and the Heart

The stories that make us

Badge sellers were once a regular sight in cities and towns across Australia. During and after the Great War (World War One) the sale of...

Rocket Range protest meeting folder. SLSA: PRG 387/1/8/1

Dr Charles Duguid: a pioneer of the Reconciliation movement

The stories that make us

This year the theme of National Reconciliation Week is ‘Be brave. Make change.’ The State Library of South Australia has many personal records of people...

Tea party in the bush B 69727_198

Oh, you do make the most delightful tea!

Tea. Who hasn’t gasped for a cuppa at the end of a busy day? Tea is the world’s most consumed drink, besides water. Just saying...

Donald Both demonstration the portable iron lung. SLSA: PRG 1776/2/20

The amazing inventions of the Both Brothers

The stories that make us

When it comes to inventors, South Australians punch well above their weight, however many of their achievements are largely unknown outside the state, let alone...

Any time is holiday time, tourism poster, 1938. SLSA ZPL 0532

Any time is holiday time

The stories that make us

Summer is traditionally holiday season, when we pack up and drive, sail, fly or ride the rails to catch up with family and friends or...

Algie's Romance, still one. SLSA: B 71527/1

Algie’s Romance, a 'lost' film

The stories that make us

Librarians love a research query challenge and finding the story behind the following four photographs in the Library’s digital collection has been keeping one of...

Note from a mother to a teacher, asking for her daughter to be put on the tram

Please put Wendy on the tram...

The stories that make us

At the State Library, we are always busy sleuthing and looking for things in the collection, and on occasion, we find something other than the...

Behind the scenes Children
Sister Janet Mead standing near a tree.

Vale Sister Janet Mead

State Library staff were saddened by the death of Sister Janet Mead after a short tussle with cancer at the age of 84. While known...

Bullfrog toy savings bank (SLSA: clrcri15835224-1)

The two bullfrogs - A curious mechanical savings bank

The stories that make us

What is that?? This rather grotesque-looking object is a mechanical savings bank in the shape of two frogs, the design for which was patented by...

The ECOmmodore is the first hybrid-electric vehicle developed by an Australian automotive manufacturer. SLSA: BRG 213/199/5/2A/4

20 years ahead of its time - Australia’s own green car

The stories that make us

These days talk of climate change and reducing greenhouse emissions is commonplace, but did you know that over twenty years ago Australia was busily developing...

History Innovation
B 70024/45/crop

Christmas away, when thoughts turn to home

The stories that make us

The COVID19 pandemic has been especially hard for millions across the world who have been separated from the people and places they cherish. This article...

Children Christmas History
Christmas singing Mount Gambier

Remembering Christmas Past

The stories that make us

For most people Christmas Eve or Christmas Day is about getting together with friends and family for a special meal and tearing the paper off...

Children Christmas History
Greeting cards, SLSA: PRG 337/3/43

The Spirit of Giving

The stories that make us

South Australians have a long tradition of giving and of offering a helping hand. Sometimes that’s not easy. As Christmas approaches it’s easy to be...

Christmas History
Portrait photograph of Mary Bower, nee Hall.

The young lady who left home in 1877

The stories that make us

Sleuthing at the State Library using newspaper clippings, three books, inscriptions, newspaper archives, and censuses, pieces together the intriguing story of a run-away in 1877...

Biography Literature
Detail of Father Christmas featured in Vojtech Kubasta's story book. SLSA: clrc i22817190

A visit from Father Christmas

Christmas at the Mortlock this year is inspired by the designs of Czechoslovakian paper artist Vojtěch Kubašta (b.1914 Vienna, d.1992 Prague). Kubašta was one of...

Children History Literature
Lord Horatio Nelson's letter to Thomas Lloyd. SLSA: 941.073 N426

Real or fake: Lord Nelson's letter written in 1798

The stories that make us

For a long time, a large brown envelope with a crayoned inscription lay in the back of the special collection’s stacks. The inscription read, ‘Nelson...

Behind the scenes Biography History
Radio club badges and pins, clrc, slsa: box no. 177

Don't touch that dial! Children’s radio club badges and pins

The stories that make us

It might seem strange, but sometimes historical items are literally picked up off the ground. This collection of children’s radio club badges and pins was...

Flower painting by Rosa Fiveash, SLSA: PRG 403/3/3/32

Captured Flowers

The capture of South Australia’s wildflowers and plants in paintings and sketches began early in the colony’s history. Flower painting was considered an acceptable genteel...