Community News

Take a selfie and help make history at the NSW State Library

Share your selfie on Instagram and become part of the biggest public display in history at the State Library of NSW, from 6 October.

#NewSelfWales is an exciting new project which is turning everyday selfies into an immersive exhibition experience where you’ll be able to find yourself in the Library – literally! State Librarian Dr John Vallance says, “We’re asking people from all corners of the state to get involved, get creative and share their portraits using the hashtag #NewSelfWales.” “These portraits will feature alongside thousands from the State Library’s collection and from people around NSW, and ultimately become part of history as the Library captures the contemporary face of NSW in 2018,” says Dr Vallance. #NewSelfWales is one of six free exhibitions to be launched as part of the grand opening of the State Library’s major new galleries, in the newly transformed Mitchell Building, on Saturday 6 October. Selfies taken by the public will join over 3,000 intriguing objects handpicked from the Library’s underground stacks to go on display – many for the very first time – across areas of the Mitchell not open to the public before.

“If you’re not on Instagram, you can upload your portraits in real-time using the in-gallery photo booth when #NewSelfWales opens,” says Paula Bray, head of the Library’s DX Lab which has created this interactive experience.

Ms Bray leads the Library’s innovation hub dedicated to creating new and interesting ways for people to engage with the Library’s rich collection of paintings, photographs, drawings, manuscripts, books, maps and other objects.

“You can take any one of the 20,000-plus portraits in the Library’s collection and each one will tell you a different story about NSW and its people,” says Ms Bray. “#NewSelfWales is about telling the story of now.

Most people have taken a selfie and that’s what makes it the perfect way to show future generations who we are and how we chose to represent ourselves today,” says Ms Bray.

#NewSelfWales is on show at the State Library of NSW from 6 October 2018 to 13 February 2019.