‘A picture tells a thousand words.’ This adage is the inspiration for an innovative new online exhibition, in which the public becomes the curator.

A Thousand Words presents 100 of the most compelling photographic images from the rich collections of Sydney Living Museums and the State Archives and Records Authority of NSW, created between the 1880s and the 1980s.

A Thousand Words adopts a philosophy that everyone can interpret history through the lens of their background, experiences, values and aspirations. Unlike a standard exhibition, the images are presented without traditional curatorial interpretation. Instead, the public have been invited to contribute responses – whether emotive, nostalgic or imaginative – and this ‘crowdsourced’ material translated into the exhibition design. New creative works have also been commissioned from established and emerging writers and artists, each responding to an image from the exhibition.

View and respond to some of the unique images at #OneWordWednesday and #SayitonSaturday, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

A Thousand Words is a collaboration between Sydney Living Museums and State Archives.  




Student Writing Competition

Stage 4 and 5 English and History students in NSW are invited to write a piece of historical fiction inspired by the images in our upcoming online exhibition A Thousand Words.

Entries now open

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9 May 2020 - 18 October 2020

Exhibition Partners