Sport is a storytelling machine. And for Australians that machine is prolific. The Australian popular imagination is crowded with stories drawn from sporting contests. Whether it is Ash Barty winning the Australian Open in 2022, Betty Cuthbert’s ‘Golden Girl’ moment at the 1956 Olympics or cricket’s infamous ‘Bodyline series’ of 1932–33, there are almost too many stories to tell.

A man in cricket whites and a hat holding a cricket stump and looking upwards.
Steve Holland, Australian cricketer Shane Warne holding a cricket ball and stump at the end of the Fourth Test of the Ashes Series, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, 28 December 2006, nla.obj-137980452

The National Library is a place where these stories can be found and retold for future generations. The books, magazines, paintings, drawings and photographs held by the Library provide a storehouse of memories for all Australians to cherish.

The National Library would like to thank Getty Images, the National Museum of Australia, the Australian Sports Museum, the Geelong Football Club, the National Rugby League and the Tumut Blues Rugby League Old Boys Inc. for providing material for this exhibition. We would also like to thank Emma McKeon AM for lending a selection of her Olympic and Commonwealth Games medals.