Architecture | State Library of New South Wales


From early colonial influences to a uniquely contemporary style, Australian architecture expresses a strong sense of place.

The State Library's architectural collection is unsurpassed. The collection ranges from representations of dwellings of Indigenous Australians and the first European buildings, to the work of important 19th century architects and internationally recognised architects of the 20th century.

With over 100, 000 plans, and associated archives, the collection is one of the most significant in Australia. It represents the work of more than 140 private architects and firms, from suburban practices to internationally recognised architects, and includes domestic, heritage, interior, commercial, ecclesiastical and industrial genres.

Government House, Sydney 1836 by Charles Rodius

Government House, Sydney, 1836, by Charles Rodius
Watercolour, SV*/Sp Coll/Rodius/5

This vast collection is supported with oral histories, photographs of buildings and streetscapes, site plans, maps, topographical paintings and drawings as well as books and journals.


Architecture: nineteenth century Sydney

The architectural collections of the State Library of New South Wales contain more than 110 000 plans, dating from the early nineteenth century to the present day, providing us with a unique insight into the history of our built environment.

Architecture: the arrival of modernism

Architectural Modernism was a revolutionary rejection of past styles, embracing boldness and simplicity in design. Architects include Arthur Baldwinson, Sydney Ancher, Hugh Buhrich

Architecture: temples of commerce

The energy and vitality that surrounds commercial life in Sydney inspired early architects and continues to inspire those of today.

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