Sydney is a vibrant city and it has an ancient heartbeat. Discover the rich, vivid history of Sydney from early Aboriginal life through to the modern global city.
HistoryAboriginal historiesPublished 20 October 2017
HistoryHistory of City of Sydney councilPublished 18 September 2020
HistoryHouse & building histories guidePublished 1 July 2016
HistoryHistory of Sydney Town HallPublished 18 September 2020
HistoryOld Sydney burial groundPublished 25 November 2019
HistoryHistory of Sydney streetsPublished 4 December 2012
HistorySymbols of the cityPublished 4 December 2012
Community groupsLocal history groups
History & archive collections
City of Sydney Archives
More than 12,000 shelf metres of archives relating to the City of Sydney and its people, places and events.
Historical walking tours
HistoryBarani/Barrabugu (Yesterday/Tomorrow) walking tourPublished 20 October 2017
HistoryHistory walksPublished 23 April 2018
HistoryRock and Roll Walks of Fame ‘n’ ShamePublished 23 April 2018
Explore early photographs of Sydney
This exhibition highlights photographs commissioned by Sydney Municipal Council between 1900 and 1920 known as the ‘Demolition Books’.
- Barani: Sydney’s Aboriginal historyThe Barani website provides histories of people, places and events in the local area that are associated with the histories of Sydney's Aboriginal communities.
- Oral HistoriesThe collection showcases the voices of Sydney people past and present.
- Sydney’s Councillors & AldermenAn easy-to-search A-Z biographical guide of almost 500 men and women who have represented Sydney's residents.
- Dictionary of SydneyPut together as a collaborative not-for-profit venture in digital public history, it's an ever-growing resource you can trust.
History & archive collectionsBooks about Sydney’s history
History & archive collectionsCity of Sydney Archives
History & archive collectionsCivic collection
History & archive collectionsHistory websites
Library collectionsLocal history collection
House and building histories guide
Discover the many resources available to research the history of your house or apartment.
City of Sydney News
NewsColoured Diggers March: making Anzac Day a celebration for allMeet the grant recipient recognising First Nations peoples who served.27 February 2023
NewsThe first Mardi Gras was a riotHow the love that dared not speak its name found its voice.14 February 2023
News8 Sydney Santas from the pastSydney Santas weren’t always jolly. Many of them were eccentric, grumpy and others downright scary!22 December 2022
NewsLearn about Sydney’s Aboriginal history as you walk Country Markers highlight significant people and places along the harbour foreshore.26 September 2022
NewsIn pictures: Queen Elizabeth II in SydneyTo mark the passing of Her Royal Highness, we look back at her visits to our city.9 September 2022
News‘Old, insanitary and ruinous’: Historic photos reveal demolished Sydney The changing face of the city captured from 1900 to 1931.7 September 2022
News4 fast facts about Sydney’s aldermen As elected officials, they acted as the intermediary between the public and local government, representing residents and ratepayers.2 September 2022
NewsCelebrating World Letter Writing Day: Notes from the City of Sydney ArchivesExplore the stories and beauty of decorative 19th and early 20th century requests, demands and complaints.1 September 2022
NewsIn pictures: Crown Street through the centuriesAs we plan a future transformation for Crown Street, see how the route evolved over 200 years.31 August 2022
NewsHistoric Haymarket landmark returned to its former glory Learn more about the restoration of the heritage-listed Corporation Building and how it serviced Sydney’s markets.5 August 2022
Download free: Sydney Culture Walks app
Discover new neighbourhoods while learning about Sydney’s fascinating history, stunning architecture and the stories behind the city’s most loved public artworks.