Hidden Treasures inside the National Library of Australia

Director: John Hughes
Year: 2008
Duration: 10 x 5min episodes

The National Library of Australia is the country’s largest reference library with over nine million items in its collection, including a surprising number of art works. In a new series of Hidden Treasures, Betty Churcher presents an insider’s guide to some of the little known and rarely displayed art treasures held by the National Library.

From her unique vantage point, Churcher makes intriguing historical connections between paintings and engravings, photography, manuscripts and artefacts, illustrated journals and diaries. These are fascinating tales about the creative process and the works themselves that offer a tantalising insight into Australia’s culture and heritage.

Press Kit: Download document (1.5mb)

Production Credit

Director John Hughes, Writer Betty Churcher, Producers Betty Churcher, John Hughes.

A Film Australia National Interest Program in association with Early Works. Produced in association with the ABC, with special thanks to the National Library of Australia.


  • Finalist, 2008 ADG (Australian Directors Guild) Awards – Best Direction in a Documentary Series (John Hughes)

Review Quotes

“ ‘Short and Sweet’ defines this factual series as the inimitable Betty Churcher talks us through some special stuff from the National Library with her usual blend of intelligence, charm, and plain-speaking.”  Sunday Age, 15/6/2008.

“A captivating and charming program from Churcher, one of TV’s great presenters.”  Graeme Blundell, Weekend Australian, 26/7/2008.

“Impeccable story telling in under ten minutes…”  Robin Oliver, Sydney Morning Herald, 7/6/2008.

“(Betty Churcher’s) ability to draw the history out of artworks makes this a fascinating and quick…educational experience”  Gordon Farrer, The Age, Green Guide, 29/5/2008.

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