City of Sydney Archives

Identity area



Authorized form of name

City of Sydney Archives

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name


  • Municipal

Contact area


City Archivist



Street address

Level 21, Town Hall House, 456 Kent Street, Sydney




New South Wales

Country name

Postal code



02 9265 9618




Description area


Geographical and cultural context

The boundaries of the City of Sydney have changed over time and it has absorbed other municipalities. To view boundary changes over time see the Council Boundaries link from the Historical Atlas at

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

Officer in charge: City Archivist

Records management and collecting policies

The City Archives is responsible for managing the archives of the City of Sydney’s operations since 1842 as well as those of absorbed councils. Some records created by elected officials are also held. The Archives also manages the Sydney Reference Collection: books and journals and information folders on aspects of Sydney City history, especially the built environment. We actively seek material for inclusion in the Sydney Reference Collection and welcome donations.

This City Archives also a collecting archive, acquiring information mainly about the Sydney local government area that can support and enhance our collection. For example, we partner with some community organisations such as the Sydney Festival and the Glebe Society and manage their archives on their behalf.



We hold more than 12,500 shelf metres of archives relating to the City of Sydney council and people, places and events within its local government area.

Our Archives and History Resources catalogue contains over 1 million items, including photographs, development and building files, maps and architectural drawings, letters, minutes and index cards and reference books and journals. Nearly half of the items available are digitised and able to be downloaded.

Some high use series of high interest to users include:

  • AS-0017, Assessment books, 1845-1949
  • AS-0051, Demolition photograph books, 1900-1939
  • AS-0126, Building application plans, 1909- present
  • AS-0034, Town Clerks' correspondence files, 1914-1978
  • AS-0028, Town Clerks' correspondence folders, 1900-1913
  • AS-0026, Letters received by the Council, 1842-1899

Finding aids, guides and publications

Access area

Opening times

Open some week days by appointment. Contact the Archives for more information.

Access conditions and requirements

Advance notice (by email) of your research visit is required, so we can assess your document needs and arrange an appointment for you. Almost all original records are held offsite so we are unable to help people who arrive without an appointment. Prospective researchers are encouraged to explore the Archives & History Resources catalogue before their visit.


The City of Sydney Archives is wheelchair accessible.

Services area

Research services

General reference assistance available. The City of Sydney Archives has an active digitisation program with many heavily used series available through the online catalogue.

Reproduction services

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised 12 May 2021




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Built Environment (Thematic area)
  • Local Studies (Thematic area)
  • Politics and Government (Thematic area)
  • Populations (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

Level 21, Town Hall House, 456 Kent Street, Sydney
Sydney, New South Wales 2001