Culture and heritage


Heritage Library

The Heritage Library is an essential resource that holds a wide range of specialist heritage materials. It offers a wealth of information for anyone working in the conservation field or researching heritage issues.

The major collection of over 13,000 items includes conservation management plans, archaeological reports, heritage studies, thematic studies and histories, predominantly about sites listed on the NSW State Heritage Register.

Accessing materials

The Heritage Library is a non-lending library.

To access materials, please email a list of required documents to the Library, and we will send you electronic resources at our earliest convenience. Please note that the Library is only staffed two days per week. Please contact the Heritage Library for complex requests.

Visiting the Library

If you would prefer to visit the Heritage Library, please be advised it is open by appointment only on Thursdays and Fridays.

To make an appointment, or discuss complex requests, please contact:

Other heritage libraries in NSW

There are other specialist heritage and history libraries in NSW that will also be of interest to those researching heritage places.

Library name Collection Address Opening hours
Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Historic Houses Trust

Early colonial architectural history, 19th century domestic manuals, houses, gardens and interiors, pattern books, trade catalogues, samples of domestic furnishings (e.g. wallpaper, curtains).

Not local histories or house histories.

Historic Houses Trust
The Mint
10 Macquarie Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 8239 2233
Fax: (02) 8239 2433
Archive of the National Trust of Australia (NSW) Collection primarily for Trust staff but available to the public by appointment:
information and images of significant buildings, cemeteries, landscapes, industrial sites and movable heritage, National Trust properties, local histories, NSW maps, heritage studies and image collection of National Trust listed items.
The National Trust of NSW
Watson Road
Observatory Hill
Sydney 2000
Ph: (02) 9258 0123
Fax: (02) 9251 1110
By appointment
Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm
Powerhouse Museum Archives Materials conservation, trade literature, shop catalogues, images, museology, collected papers of individuals and records of organisations. Powerhouse Museum
Archives are in the Museum's Harwood Building
Macarthur St East
Ph: (02) 9217 0533
Fax: (02) 9217 0433
By appointment
Vaughan Evans Library

Collection primarily a research library for ANMM staff but is available to the public by appointment:

  • Australian history, maritime history, maritime archaeology
  • The image collection is managed by the museum curators, not the library.
Australian National Maritime Museum
Darling Harbour
The Library is located in Wharf 7 Maritime Heritage Centre, just a few steps from the main Museum building.
Ph: (02) 9298 3734
Fax: (02) 9298 3730
By appointment
Royal Australian Historical Society Library

NSW local history, early Australian colonial history.

Legal deposit for projects funded by Heritage Division (heritage grants) and the NSW Ministry for the Arts (cultural grants). RAHS cataloging includes local government areas for increased local history usage.

Royal Australian Historical Society
History House
133 Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9247 8001
Fax: (02) 9247 7854
University of Sydney Archaeology online NSW Archaeology Online is a digital archive of information about the archaeology and heritage of important cultural places in New South Wales. A joint projects of the University of Sydney Library and Archaeology of Sydney Research Group Online
Parramatta Heritage Centre History & development of Parramatta, local families & society, colonial history, council material, regional focus on Western Sydney, emphasis on family history.

Parramatta Heritage Centre
346A Church Street
Parramatta NSW 2150
Ph: (02) 9683 6922
Fax: (02) 9683 5608

Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri:
Thu: 10am-8pm
Sat & Sun:
City of Sydney Archives Includes building application plans for City of Sydney from 1909, building application files from 1946, DA files from the 1950s, rate/assessment books back to 1845, a large collection of published material about the built environment including many CMPs and a large photographic collection from 1900. City of Sydney
456 Kent Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9265 9618
Fax: (02) 9265 9606
appointment essential.

City and municipal libraries

Most local libraries have a collection of heritage and historical material relating to their local government area. Contact your local library for further information.


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Page last updated: 15 July 2016