Photo Archives

The Photographic Archive tells the story of modern Australia through millions of pictures dating from 1911, when The Sydney Morning Herald employed its first full-time photographer, to today. As the richest collection of press photography in Australia, its historical and cultural value is beyond calculation. It documents how Australians lived, worked and socialised, their political lives, involvement in major conflicts, and contributions to sport, industry and social reforms.

The Photographic Archive consists of millions of negatives, hard-copy prints and digital images taken for some of Australia’s best-known mastheads, including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian Financial Review, The Illawarra Mercury, The Newcastle Herald and The Canberra Times. It also contains images taken for some newspapers no longer in print, such as The Sun, The Argus and The National Times.

Though the Syndication and Photos websites contain millions of images old and new, they do not represent the entire Photographic Archive. Our historic images are held in customised repositories and are accessed regularly for editorial and research purposes. Digital images, including scans of historic prints and negatives, are added to the website as they become available.

To search for photos, or find an image or illustration that appeared in the newspaper click on this link