Reading the House Library

Hear from Dr Matthew Stephens, Research Librarian at the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, as he shares stories and treasures from some of NSW’s most intriguing book collections.

Discover fascinating insights, including how many books made up the average 19th–century house library, the most popular titles and authors of the time and how a book that once belonged to the world’s first gothic novelist came to reside in our collection. Matthew will focus on the house libraries of Elizabeth Bay House and Throsby Park, Moss Vale.

View of the sitting room, showing fireplace, mirror, table, chairs and sofa. Bookcase is in righthand corner.

Books of lost emotion: exploring our historic house libraries

The thousands of books in MHNSW’s historic houses provided entertainment, education, moral improvement and spiritual sustenance – and now offer intriguing and moving insights into the people who owned them

Talks & webinars

A colour chart of ready-mixed paints

Historic colour in the home

The many sources in the Caroline Simpson Library that can bring colour to the homes of past, with Matthew Stephens

Children's nursery

Animals in our Houses

A Parade of Animals in Nurseries, with Michael Lech