SLNSW Unstacked, State Library of NSW

Data visualisation / Unstacked - Curated by the People

A living, breathing representation of the library’s collection

What are people looking for when they browse the State Library of NSW’s collection of 6 million + items? There are books in there, of course, but also photographs, soldiers diaries from World War One, locks of childrens’ hair, a vast array of paintings and sketches, maps, diaries from First Fleet officers and soldiers, Aboriginal artefacts and even floppy disks from the 1980s.


“…pushing boundaries in digital interaction with data and in delivery… a completely new way to access the Library’s collection.”

Paula Bray, DX Lab Leader, State Library of NSW

As winners of the inaugural DX Lab Fellowship at the State Library of NSW, we wanted to reveal the breadth and diversity of this collection (most of which is held in the library’s underground stacks), and show what odd and interesting items pop up when people search the collection online.

Unstacked is a web page that updates to show what items people are accessing from the State Library of NSW’s collection. When people look at a collection item, it pops up on Unstacked. It is essentially a window into the collection, and an insight into what people are interested in at any given time.

The work reveals that the library’s users have very different interests and this highlights the diversity of the collection. We hope that Unstacked will increase the number of visits to the library both virtual and physical and inspire people to explore the State Library of NSW’s incredible collection.


Project Team

Adam Hinshaw – Co-creator and Developer

Project links