The Trustees of the Mitchell Library undertook to collect these portraits in May 1918. Relatives of soldiers were asked to forward photographs to the Crown Studios, Sydney, for copying. Name, date of birth, enlistment date, trade or calling, birthplace, address prior to enlistment, rank, number and distinctions, casualties, next of kin and father's name inscribed on the standard form on the back of the photograph, transcribed by a librarian or the photographic studio from information supplied on the form sent in by the donor. Problems with the handwriting on the original form have led to errors in some of the transliterations.
The State Library of New South Wales' major subject strengths are Australian history, culture and literature, including Aboriginal studies, Antarctic exploration, family history and genealogy, business and management, social sciences, applied science, biography, health and law.
The State Library is home to one of Australia’s most significant historical and heritage collections. As well as nearly 11 kilometres of manuscripts – from nine 1788 First Fleet journals through to the archives of contemporary organisations and writers – the Library holds more than one million photographs. From the earliest surviving photograph taken in Australia – in January 1845 – through to digital photographs taken last month, the Library’s unrivalled photographic collections document with powerful clarity the way Australians have lived their lives over two centuries. You can find out more about the State Library's photographic collections on our website: www.sl.nsw.gov.au/about/collections/photographs.html