Our manuscript collection  (known originally as the Primary Records), was set up in 1963 to house donated material. At present there are more than 55,000 files, with additions weekly. The files hold family papers, pedigrees, photographs, certificates, unpublished research notes, other documents and memorabilia from Australia and overseas.

The major value of the collection is that it can help researchers avoid reinventing the wheel - to be able to capitalise on research that has been deposited by members and others.

Access to the collection is available online here

Highlights of the collection

Photographs - We hold over 10,000 photographs, from rare daguerreotypes taken in the 1840s to modern laser prints. 

St Joseph's Building Society - This Society became a major landlord (as mortgagee in possession) in the Depression of the late 1890s. These files relate to the tenants, property maintenance and the tradesmen employed in that work, as well as their suppliers. Most of the material dates between 1880 - 1940. For greater detail click here.

The Dennes collection - Gordon Dennes, the editor of the Wingham Chronicle, collected biographical information on settlers on the Manning River area of New South Wales. .

The Perkins Papers - John Arthur Perkins' collection of typescript papers illustrating the social history of the electorate of Eden-Monaro and the towns of Tumut and Adelong from 1823 to 1948.  Click here to access more information.

Sewerage plans & Dove's plans of Sydney - The sewerage plans date from 1856 and 1867 and show building allotments and houses and include owners' names. Percy Dove surveyed the City of Sydney in 1880 in great detail. His plans show houses and outbuildings and are colour coded for easy reference. Used together with Sands Directories they can build up a good picture for most allotments in Sydney.

Beale papers - The diaries, correspondence and other related material relating to the Quaker Beale family, which was involved in piano manufacture and music shops in Sydney.

Quong Tart papers - Papers relating to this 19th century Sydney merchant of Scottish and Chinese descent, who was active in Chinese and public life.

Camperdown Cemetery - Plans of Camperdown Cemetery in 53 sheets, hand coloured, showing sections, lots and names. The cemetery is one of the historic landmarks of Sydney's history and a guide is available here.