New images added to the Berckelman collection

Sydney Harbour Bridge at night. View on Digital Collections

We’re thrilled to be adding another batch of images to the already established Berckelman collection in our Digital Collections.

It was our Rare Books and Special Collections librarians who initially made us aware of this intriguing collection back in 2019. The Berckelman collection’s 573 glass plate negatives were collected between 1920 – 1935 by Collin B. Berckelman (1907-1965) and are archived in our Rare Books and Special Collections.  

All the glass plate negatives were digitised by an external vendor before we worked to provide accurate and consistent descriptions for each image. We made the first batch of images available in our Digital Collections in July 2022 and have just added 126 new images to the collection.

This is a treasure-trove of beautiful landscapes and scenery from the Islands of the Pacific and New South Wales national parks. The latest upload comprises pictures from the construction of Sydney Harbour Bridge and its historic opening celebrations. There are also numerous images from Norfolk Island, including ones of St Barnabas Chapel and its beautiful stained-glass windows and of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Australian Convict Site, Kingston.

You can choose to browse the entire Berckelman collection, or visit a curated collection, which organises images by the collection’s main subjects. Currently one curated collection is available, containing images related to Norfolk Island. More curated collections are still to come.

We would love to receive suggestions for other curated collections you would like to see. We’re also asking for your help in identifying people, places and events, so if you have more information about any of the images in the collection, please send it through to:   

First train from Sydney railway station (4 August 1906). View on Digital Collections

Closing up the arches of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, 1930. View on Digital Collections

Handwritten correspondence, possibly addressed to Don Miguel Ricardo de Alava. Written in London 13 April 1831. View on Digital Collections.

We are inviting people to click the ‘Text’ button to the left of image to see a transcript and log in with UniKey details if there is a correction needed. Alternatively, you can contact us at to make suggestions. 

Houses and pastures at Kingston, Norfolk Island. View the Norfolk Island sub-collection

The original Rag & Famish Hotel on the corner of Miller and Berry Street, St Leonards (now North Sydney). It was first established in 1860 and is the oldest pub in North Sydney still standing (photograph by Dr Robert Ward). View on Digital Collections