Photo of two people working in the Library's digital imaging studio

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Library’s digitisation program. From lantern slides and glass negatives to maps, posters and sheet music, our team have made more than two million files available to search, view and download online since the program began on 17 August 1990.

To celebrate a quarter of a century of digitisation, we recently launched the digital image pool, a new online resource to help you easily find images from the Library’s collection that are free of copyright restrictions. Dive in and discover almost 200,000 images, free to reuse, remix or repurpose in any way you like.

Below, we’ve selected some of our favourite images from the last 25 years, each one corresponding to the year it was digitised from 1990–2015. You can find these, and more, in our digital image pool. Enjoy!


Blakc and white photograph of crowds on the beach, St Kilda, Victoria

Crowds on the beach, St Kilda, Victoria, c1920–54. Photo: Rose Stereograph Co


Black and white photograph of a bird's-Eye View of Melbourne looking east across rooftops

Bird’s-eye view of Melbourne looking east, ca. 1892-1900. Photo: Charles Rudd


Photo of a man cutting down a tree with an axe

Cutting down tree, 1877. Photo: N. J. Caire


Colourised photo of young woman holding up a cup of tea as if to drink

Rosa Lind, ca. 1902–1912 (postcard)


Picture of a man and a horse standing beneath the trunk of a very large tree

Giant Tree, 80 ft. 6 ins, in circumference, near Foster, ca. 1900–1909. Pater, W. T. postcard series


Imag e of Luna Park with lots of people outside

Luna Park, St. Kilda, ca. 1912–1915. Shirley Jones collection of Victorian postcards


Image of Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1864

Melbourne Cricket Ground (1st January 1864). Charles Troedel & Co


Portrait of woman in black dress posing for photo

Edith Mary Hardy, 1890. Photo: Vandyck Studios


Image of different breeds of dogs at a dog show

The dog show at the Apollo Hall, Bourke Street, Melbourne, 1871. Publisher: Ebenezer and David Syme


Image of ducks on board a ship with sailor staring at them

The Arctic Stream’s non paying passengers in their strange surroundings, ca. 1885 and 1946. Brodie Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection


Ballerina from the Colonel de Basil's 2nd Covent Garden Ballet

Vera Nemtchinova , 1940. Series: Colonel de Basil’s 2nd Covent Garden Ballet.


Woman standing in a field holding a calf

Women of the Australian Women’s Land Army at work, ca. 1941–1943. Collection: Argus newspaper collection of war photographs. World War II


Picture of Sandy MacDougal standing in front of his house

Sandy Mac Dougal, 86 years old, oldest man in Harrietville, 1945. Herald & Weekly Times Limited portrait collection


Architectural image of a building

‘Stanhill’ Albert Park Melbourne, Architect: Frederick Romberg, 1951. Photo: Wolfgang Sievers


Red 'One Pound Cannister' coffee label

One pound canister coffee with chicory label, 1871. Lithographer: Charles Troedel


Two Japanese women sleeping

Sleeping beauties, 1876. Printed and published by Stillfried & Andersen


Image of two men and wagon on a country road surrounded by sheep

Horse drawn wagon on country track, ca. 1910–1930. Photo: Albert Jones


Photo of the sphinx in Egypt

Great Sphinx, ca. 1915–1918. Photo: T. P Bennett


Man reading a book in bed

Man reading book in bed at base camp, 1907-1931. Compiler: John King Davis


Advertising poster for a corset

The celebrated E.E.E. Corset, ca. 1891–1900. Troedel & Co. lithographers


Public urinal in Paris

Urinoir en ardoise à 3 stalles, Chaussée du Maine No. 29. 1865. Photo: Charles Marville


Photo of a tennis team

Green Hill tennis team, ca. 1907-1914. Photo: Harold Leopold Godden


Man with dog shepherding sheep

Homeward bound, 1864. Artist: ST Gill


Portrait of woman holding hand to her face

Portraits of Winifred Craig, 1890 . Photo: Falk Studios


Confectionery label

Wm. Sidney’s superior peppermint, High Street, Prahran, ca. 1851–1885. Edward Gilks


This article has 5 comments

  1. Amazing imagery, what a collection!
    Looking forward to accessing those 200,000 images too

  2. fabulous collection beautifully assembled
    thanks Sarah

  3. Absolutely fascinating Sarah, and such an amazing variety! Thank you.
    re 2007 Horse drawn wagon on country track, ca. 1910–1930. Photo: Albert Jones – there are so many trees either dead or dying, one wonders why?
    Loved them all – although I had a time finding the site – glad I persevered. Do you know why it has changed?

    • Susan Nicholas – Could be the result of bushfire – I am only going from what the trees looked like after touring the countryside after major bushfires. They all have that rather blasted look. I think the are called ghost gums. Might have been after the 1930’s bushfires?

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