In an age when photographs are shot, finessed and circulated to millions of people within seconds, Australia's rarest collection of photojournalism is an evocative insight into another time.

Not just into the events of that time - Depression-era dole queues, the first Anzac Day march, bustling life on Sydney's streets - but also into the intricate art of glass plate photography that was common a century ago. More than 13,000 glass negatives forming the Fairfax Archives Glass Plate Collection were donated to the National Library of Australia.

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