Australian Rules football

A guide to researching history, players, matches and clubs

Finding images

Photographs and images of footballers, games and grounds will be found in newspapers, magazines, books and collections of original photographs, and art works including paintings, prints and cartoons. Our Library has a range of images relating to football

Charles Boyles Collection

  • Charles Boyles was born in 1888 in Merino, N.W. Victoria. He made it his business to be wherever sporting action was going on and as the VFL and Association had no permanent official photographer, became the "unofficial official" VFL photographer. This collection includes selected images of teams from the 1920s to the 1950s, mainly VFL including some reserves teams and other teams. There is an excellent website on the Boyles collection that also includes information on football ephemera and other historical snippets.

Rennie Ellis football images

  • our Library holds a large number of images by Rennie Ellis. These include many photograps of VFL/AFL football and supporters from the late 1960s to the 1990s

19th century illustrated newspapers

  • our Library has digitised many images from the 19th century illustrated newspapers. These include a number of early images of footballers

Our great game : the photographic history of Australian football edited by John Murray

  • contains extensive collection of large format images from throughout the history of the game

 Saint Nicky Winmar bares his soul to racial abuse,1993 / Phil Pinder.

  • painting after a newspaper photograph by Wayne Ludbey, in which Nicky Winmar responds to racial abuse from the crowd during a football match at Victoria Park

Wells football cartoons (1923) Samuel Garnet Wells

  • cartoons from the Melbourne Herald for season 1923. More of his cartoons can be found on the Trove digitsied Australian newspapers database
Football 1875 A/S12/06/75/41

Football 1875 A/S12/06/75/41 

Even in 1875, 'contested ball' was crucial. This image was used in The Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil 12 June 1875 p.41 and republished in Australian Town and Country Journal 30 June, 1877 p.20 to illustrate the Carlton versus NSW Waratahs intercolonial game.

FOOTBALL MATCH BY ELECTRIC LIGHT ON THE MELBOURNE CRICKET GROUND IAN30/08/79/137

Football match by electric light on the Melbourne Cricket Ground 1879 IAN30/08/79/137 

Match between East Melbourne Artillery and Collingwood Rifles. In the second half the men of the Rifles demanded a player count, suspecting their opponents had taken advantage of the gloom to sneak a few extra players on to the field. The game was stopped for the count, but the spectators thought the game was over and invaded the playing arena. The match had to be abandoned.

A great match on the Melbourne football ground AS27/08/83/156

A great match on the Melbourne football ground 1883 A/S27/08/83/156 

A brief accompanying article is in the Australasian Sketcher  27 August 1883 p. 3 

Mark in front of goal IAN01/06/95/5

Mark in front of goal 1895 IAN01/06/95/5 

Images from the  season opener 4 May 1895 between Melbourne and South Melbourne at the MCG before a crowd of 8,000. Melbourne were victorious. See this report of the game from The Age 6 May 1895 p. 3

Melbourne FC H96.160/428

Melbourne Football Team, season 1895 H96.160/428  

This image appears in The Australasian 22 June 1895  p. 26 with each player named.

Football on the MCC ground "Goal"  1881 IAN27/07/81/132 

Image with story from Illustrated Australian News 27 July 1881 p. 132

South Melbourne makes a rush Illustrated Australian News 1 June 1895 p.5 IAN01/06/95/5

South Melbourne makes a rush Illustrated Australian News 1 June 1895 p.5 IAN01/06/95/5

Hawthorn football players in front of a grandstand  Charles Edward Boyles.  H2008.122/83

Hawthorn football players in front of a grandstand  Charles Edward Boyles. (c.1938)  H2008.122/83 

Richmond's VFL senior team photographed at the Punt Road Oval in either 1940 or 1941 Charles Edward Boyles. H2008.122/107

Richmond's VFL senior team photographed at the Punt Road Oval in either 1940 or 1941 Charles Edward Boyles. H2008.122/107 

Carlton half-back John Goold ('Mr Elegance') breaks through the banner in the 1970 Grand Final H2010.108/14

Carlton half-back John Goold ('Mr Elegance') breaks through the banner in the 1970 Grand Final. Rennie Ellis Collection  H2010.108/14

 

 

1986 Grand Final. Warren McKenzie (with ball) , Bernie Evans (Carlton). Richard Loveridge (left) Chris Langford (right) (Hawthorn). Rennie Ellis Collection H2010.108/675

1986 Grand Final. Warren McKenzie (with ball) , Bernie Evans (Carlton). Richard Loveridge (left) Chris Langford (right) (Hawthorn). Rennie Ellis Collection H2010.108/675

Football Record seller outside Entrance Number 6 at the MCG 1982 Rennie Ellis Collection  H2010.108/701

Football Record seller outside Entrance Number 6 at the MCG 1982 Rennie Ellis Collection  H2010.108/701

Ephemera

Victorian Rules Football

This exhibition page from State Library Victoria includes information on ephemeral items such as cigarette cards

Our holdings

This is a search for football ephemera holdings at the State Library

Trove search

A search across Australian libraries using keywords 'football ephemera'

Street football [art original] Leunig H98.98/1

Street Football [art original]  Michael Leunig H98.98/1

Victorian footballers1884

Victorian footballers 1884  H2000.212/16 George Coulthard, the great 19th century Carlton champion, at centre

Vin Waite spoil 1970 grand final

Carlton and Collingwood players leap for the football 1970 VFL Grand Final, photo by Rennis Ellis H2010.108/6

Big spoil by Vin Waite over Terry Waters. The 1970 Grand Final was possibly the most iconic of all games with Carlton coming back from 44 points down at half time to record a miraculous 10 point victory.