We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of New South Wales stands.

Art Gallery institutional archive

Walter Vernon’s design for National Art Gallery

Detail of Walter Vernon's design for National Art Gallery, Sydney, proposed completed building showing front elevation, 22 July 1896, National Art Archive, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Discover over 150 years of stories, illuminating not just our gallery’s history but the history of art in Australia.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales was established as the first freestanding public art museum in Australia exclusively devoted to art.

Our institutional archive holds administrative records from the 1870s to the present day. These can be grouped in the following categories:

  • The Trust – includes minutes, reports, resolutions, etc

  • The Directorate – includes appointment records and director reports and papers

  • Correspondence – includes government, foreign, general and acquisition correspondence

  • Finance and administration – includes ledgers, cash books, insurance records, sale books, audit records, etc

  • Visitors – includes copy and visitor books

  • Exhibitions – includes exhibition files, installation photographs, proposals, etc

  • Prizes and scholarships – includes the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes, travelling scholarships, etc

  • Acquisition, registration and deaccession – includes accession registers, location registers, journals, worksheets, wills and bequests, outward and inward loan registers, copyright, deaccession registers, etc

  • Conservation – includes reports, ledgers, etc

  • Photographs – archival photographs of the building, collection and staff

  • The building – includes architectural plans and drawings, etc

For a complete listing of each category, you’ll need to consult the three-volume guide in the library.