Discover SLM

Sydney Living Museums has plenty to offer online, with a wealth of stories and visual content for you to peruse along with useful resources for learning at home.

Find a weekly summary of what’s new across our channels, look up activities to do at home with the family, including in the kitchen and the garden, explore our properties and our collections, and settle in for some good long reads.

This week’s focus:

In a city founded on the shores of the harbour, the waterfront has always hummed with adventure and misadventure. This week we're sharing the fascinating story of underworld Sydney – from bushrangers to sly grog, razor gangs to forensics. Through stories, collection objects and our vast archive of crime-scene photographs, journey into the world of those who broke the law and those who enforced it.

Follow us on social media for more. #DiscoverSLM




This week:



A gritty business

Step into the dark side of Sydney’s past with a visit to the Water Police station and courts that once made up one of the city’s busiest legal hubs. Crooks and cops, thugs and judges, locals and drifters, the guilty and the innocent have all left their stories here.



NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive

The Justice & Police Museum cares for an eclectic collection of material relating to Sydney’s criminal and policing history, including the NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive, made up of approximately 130,000 negatives in both glass-plate and cellulose film formats taken between 1910 and 1964.

Read more

Online exhibition


Immerse yourself in the dark side of the Roaring Twenties, a golden era for criminals. Explore online our collection of candid and compelling mugshots taken by police between 1920 and 1930. Known as the ‘Specials’, they are unlike any found elsewhere in the world.



Wanted! Bushrangers live

School students can come face to face with bushrangers at the Justice & Police Museum during Sydney Living Museums’ next live virtual excursion on 26 November. Free. 

Find out more 

Online puzzles

Get puzzling

Take a moment to relax and recharge with one of our online puzzles featuring our beautiful collections and museums. 

Explore puzzles



Bentwood chairs

Bentwood chairs appear in many mugshot photographs from the 1920s ‘Specials’ collection in the NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive, mostly taken at Sydney’s Central Police Station.

Read more


More stories

Online shop

Mugshots from the Roaring Twenties
City of Shadows
Sydney Police Photographs 1912-1948
Crooks like us
a glimpse into the lives of fugitive souls
Crooks like us + City of Shadows
Buy the set and save!


Latest news

Jungle House outlook Photo © Michael Lassman

Sydney Open

Share your thoughts on Sydney Open 2020Friday 13 November 2020

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this year's Sydney Open. We’d love to hear your thoughts about our first-ever digital program, and we invite you to complete our short online survey. 

Artworks on sideboard

Media release

Meroogal Women’s Art Prize 2020 Winners’ AnnouncementWednesday 23 September 2020

The Meroogal Women’s Art Prize celebrates the creativity of female artists in NSW. The 2020 Winners were announced at a modest event at the Meroogal house museum.

Group of people in front of historic house.

Rouse Hill Estate

Play along with us: House Music at Your HouseMonday 17 August 2020

We invite you to join us in a new musical experiment, bringing the music of the 19th century into the 21st century. We’ve delved into the hundreds of popular songs that survive in the collection at Rouse Hill Estate and we’ve also asked some brilliant musicians to help you explore these pieces of music from their homes and in our historic houses.