The exhibition bays in the historic Mortlock Wing of the State Library of South Australia in Adelaide open a window into the history and culture of South Australia, featuring the people, places, issues and events that have contributed to the state’s development.

The exhibitions showcase the richness and breadth of State Library collections, with historical and contemporary materials used to illustrate particular themes. There is now a Wooden Walls and Iron Sides section presenting South Australia's shipping history. Above is a picture from the collection of Port Adelaide in the Age of Sail.

Shipping in South Australia began with the immigrant ships, and traffic was largely one way as there was no outward cargo in 1836. Gradually exports of mineral ores, grain and wool built up as the colony grew, and cargoes went overseas or to the other colonies.

Steam took over from sail, although sailing ships were still taking the grain harvest to Europe in the 1930s.

River trade on the Murray was an important component of South Australian trade. Intercolonial passenger ships, gulf and river cruises, as well as overseas cruise ships were all part of the shipping at Port Adelaide and the outports.

The Mortlock Wing is open Monday to Friday, 9.30 am to 5.00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 12 noon to 5.00 pm. (Except on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Admission is free.

The State Library has more material on its website here.