Imagine having your very own collection of interesting reading material on any subject or historical information.

Or even photos and art to trawl through. You could come across the most fascinating things going back hundreds of years and spend hours every day learning about the world. Well, now you can do it from your own home or on the go thanks to the State Library of NSW’s project, Unstacked.unstacked

The library’s Stacks are the underground space where it stores much of its collection. So, Unstacked brings hidden gems out into the open. The Unstacked project is a webpage that continually updates to show what items people are accessing from the library’s collection. When people look at a collection item, it pops up on Unstacked.

There are all manner of items in the State Library of NSW’s stacks – not just books. There are things like maps, Aboriginal artefacts, paintings, diaries from First Fleet officers, historic photos, sketches, war era posters and letters, and even floppy disks from the 1980s. But there’s so much more and it’s not limited to the physical library space either.

Elisa Lee, Lecturer and tutor in Visual Communications, at the University of Technology Sydney, who was involved in bringing Unstacked to life said, “because people access the collection chiefly through the library’s web-based catalogue, the search queries displaying on Unstacked could be coming from anywhere - in the library, in regional NSW or on the other side of the world”.

People use the library for research, she explained, and every day there’s a wide array of subjects being looked at.

“On any given day you might see searches ranging from Shakespeare, the psychology of teenagers or HSC papers to subdivision plans, kisses, houses in Lilyfield in the 1970s, or mosquito management,” Elise revealed.

The advantages of Unstacked are that you can click on photographs and images to enlarge them for detail or read about a subject for as long as you like. And you can look at Unstackedonline from the comfort of your own home on computer, or via tablet or mobile – anywhere you like. Who knows, it might be time to start a discussion group!


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