Three men having coffee and chatting at a cafe in Sydney's inner east.

Recording our history

We have a dedicated team of historians and archivists to record our civic history (that is, the history of the Council) and that of Sydney and its citizens.

As part of the Sustainable Sydney 2030 program, the team encouraged residents, workers and visitors to reflect on past visions and imagine the Sydneythey want for the future via an online exhibition, Visions of Sydney.

In 2010, we launched our first ever community archiving project, The Past in Print, which encouraged people to help make history by donating ephemeral items. Ephemera includes pamphlets, posters, tickets, beer coasters, business cards, menus, postcards, badges, bus timetables, stickers and more. Materials like this, which are usually thrown away or recycled, add colourful context to local grassroots history. The collection is growing and we’re putting the best pieces together and presenting them in online galleries.

One of our other goals is to make an active contribution to original research about Sydney’s history. To do so, we’ve commissioned and published histories of villages including Chippendale, Surry Hills, Pyrmont and Ultimo.

We’re continuing work on Eora Journey, which reasserts our Aboriginal past and celebrates contemporary Aboriginal culture.

Towards 2030 we are recording the local area’s history to:

  • celebrate our fascinating city
  • involve the community in archiving projects
  • contribute to original research
  • connect Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

Sydney 2030: green, global and connected. Go to the 2030 strategic directions.