Local studies resources

Material relating to the local history of Randwick

Randwick City Library holds a wealth of historical material relating to the local history of Randwick, for the amateur and professional historian. The Local Studies collection includes:

The library also provides access to a broad range of local history images on the Randwick Photo Gallery.

If you would like to view any of the items in the Local Studies collection you will need to contact us make an appointment to see the Local Studies Librarian.


Maps, architectural drawings and Plans of Management

The Local Studies Collection at the Lionel Bowen Library holds an extensive collection of maps, architectural drawings and Plans of Management in both physical copy and on microfilm.

The maps include:

  • Real Estate Agent subdivision plans dating from the 1900s
  • Copies of Parish maps dating back to the first settlement of the area
  • Tramway maps
  • Council planning maps dating back to the 1940s
  • The Mitchell Subdivision Maps (available on microfilm)

The architectural drawings include plans for:

  • Little Coogee Public School
  • Coogee Palace an office block for WD and HO Wills drawn up in 1926

Plans of Management displays include:

  • Maroubra
  • Coogee
  • Clovelly

Many of the items held in the Lionel Bowen Library are originals, and as such are fragile and unable to be photocopied. However we do permit photographs to be taken with a digital camera.

Newspapers

The Local Studies collection also contains a vast history of local and Sydney/NSW centric newspapers. Current local papers are held in the Local Studies room and other local papers are either in the compactus or on microfilm

Publications A - I

PublicationPublication dates held in collection

Council Press cuttings scrapbook

May 1910 - August 1982

Daily Mirror

8 and 9 May 1945

District Recorder, The

12 November 1910, 7 January 1911, 26 June 1915

East Sydney Argus, The

2 December 1911, 28 March 1914, 10 June 1903 - 25 December 1907 (on microfilm)

Eastern Express

1990 - 1991 & 1992 (select)

Eastern Herald

1985 - 1989, 1990 - September 1992

Eastern Suburbs Advocate, The

28 March 1914

Publications J - R

Publication 

Publication dates held in collection

Kensington Free Press, The

17 June 1922

Maroubra Magazine

1984 - 1987

Messenger, The

9 and 30 September 1937, 2 and 9 November 1939, January - March 1940, 25 April 1940, 16, 23 and 30 May 1940, 13 June 1940, August 1940, 10 and 24 October 1940, 20 February 1941, 7 and 21 August 1941, 30 October 1941, 13 November 1941, 4 December 1941, 1960 - 1965, October - December 1966, 1967 - 1968, 1970 - 2000 (3 January 1990 - 12 October 2000 on microfilm)

New Waverley Woollahra Standard, The

30 September 1943

Peninsular Voice, The

October 1980 - June 1984

Printscan

August 1992 - August 1995

Randwick Coogee News, The

24 December 1927, 27 July 1933, 19 February 1959

Randwick Coogee Weekly

18 December 1930 - 30 December 1931 (on microfilm)

Randwick District News

29 April 1930, 7 September 1939, 14 December 1939, 11 and 18 January 1940, 8 and 15 February 1940, 16 May 1940, 11 July 1940, 23 October 1941, 27 November 1941, 4 December 1941

Randwick Rag

1980 - 1987

Publications S - Z

PublicationPublication dates held in collection

South Sydney News, The

5 November, 15 and 22 December 1939, 26 January - 20 December 1940, 10 January - 19 December 1941, 16 January - 10 July 1942

Southern Courier

1982 - 1989, 2 April 1996 - Present (2 April 1996 - 30 June 1998 on microfilm)

Southern News, The

1968 - 1971, 1974 - 1989

Spectator, The

1989 - 1999

Sun, The

8 and 9 May 1945

Sydney Mail Index to Birth, Deaths and Marriages

1864

Sydney Morning Herald

18 April 1831 - 12 March 1881, 1 January 1990 - Present

Sydney Morning Herald - Index to Births, Deaths and Marriages

1853 - 1859

Vertical File Local Studies Index

1982 - Present

Weekly Courier (Bondi), The

5 July 1983 - 8 November 1989 (on microfilm)

Weekly Southern Courier

1990 - 26 March 1996 (6 August 1991 - 26 March 1996 on microfilm)

Wentworth Courier

1990 - 1996

Council Rate Books

The Randwick Municipal Council Rate Books 1859-1926 are held on microfilm at the Lionel Bowen Library. They are for use in the Local Studies room of the Library during normal opening hours. They form a valuable resource for local and family historians.

The Rate Books were produced to provide information on land ownership and, if buildings were erected on that land, who was the occupier.

Details of improvements such as buildings are in the Valuation Books which survive for the 20th Century and are held at the Lionel Bowen Library.

Council Minute Books

Randwick Municipal Council was incorporated on 22 February 1859. Randwick City Library has all Council Minute Books in the Local Studies Collection. The books between 1859 and 1984 are available for viewing on microfilm in the Local Studies and Family History room.

The minutes stand as a political document. They record the decisions made by, and actions of, a Council, including the first meeting of Randwick Council on 1 April 1859.

The Council Minutes include copies of all reports that are given to the four committees, Health Building and Planning, Finance, Works and Community Services.

Electoral rolls

The Local Studies collection also holds physical copies of electoral roles dating back to 1842.

The details of the electoral roles held at the Lionel Bowen Library are as follows:

Randwick Council Electoral

Year

Ward

Location in library

1956

All Wards

Council Archives Box 31

1959

All Wards

Council Archives Box 31

1962

All Wards

Council Archives Box 32

1965

All Wards

Council Archives Box 32

1968

All Wards

Council Archives Box 33

1971

All Wards

LH324.64/MUN

1977

All Wards

LH324.64/MUN

1980

All Wards

LH324.64/MUN

1983

All Wards

LH324.64/MUN

1987

All Wards

LH324.64/MUN

1991

All Wards

LH324.64/MUN

1995

All Wards

LH324.64/MUN

2000

All Wards

LH324.64/MUN

NSW Electoral Rolls

Year

Electoral District

Location in library

1842-1863

Rolls for various electoral districts

NSW-6 (Microfiche)

1988

State Electoral District of Maroubra

LH324.64/

1988

State Electoral District of Heffron

LH324.64/

1988

State Electoral District of Coogee

LH324.64/

1991

New South Wales Electoral Rolls

NSW-24

1999

State Electoral District of Maroubra

LH324.64/NEW

1999

State Electoral District of Heffron

LH324.64/NEW

1999

State Electoral District of Coogee

LH324.64/NEW

Commonwealth Electoral Rolls

Year

Electoral Division

Location in library

1903-1928

Commonwealth Divisions in New South Wales

NSW-17 - NSW-23

1972

Electoral Division of Phillip

Council Archives Box 48

1972

Electoral Division of Kingsford-Smith

Council Archives Box 50

1973

Electoral Division of Phillip

Council Archives Box 48

1974

Electoral Division of Phillip

Council Archives Box 48

1974

Electoral Division of Kingsford-Smith

Council Archives Box 50

1975

Electoral Division of Phillip

Council Archives Box 48

1975

Electoral Division of Kingsford-Smith

Council Archives Box 50

1976

Electoral Division of Phillip

Council Archives Box 48

1976

Electoral Division of Kingsford-Smith

Council Archives Box 50

1977

Electoral Division of Phillip

Council Archives Box 48

1977

Electoral Division of Kingsford-Smith

Council Archives Box 51

1978

Electoral Division of Phillip

Council Archives Box 49

1978

Electoral Division of Kingsford-Smith

Council Archives Box 51

1979

Electoral Division of Phillip

Council Archives Box 49

1979

Electoral Division of Kingsford-Smith

Council Archives Box 51

1980

Electoral Division of Kingsford-Smith

Council Archives Box 51

1982

Electoral Division of Phillip

Council Archives Box 49

1982

Electoral Division of Kingsford-Smith

Council Archives Box 51

1984

Electoral Division of Phillip

Council Archives Box 49

1984

Electoral Division of Kingsford-Smith

Council Archives Box 51

1988

Electoral Division of Wentworth

NSW-24 (Microfiche)

1988

Electoral Division of Phillip

NSW-24 (Microfiche)

1988

Electoral Division of Kingsford-Smith

NSW-24 (Microfiche)

1989

Electoral Division of Phillip

LH324.64/AUS

1989

Electoral Division of Kingsford Smith

LH324.64/AUS

2000

Electoral Division of Kingsford-Smith

LH324.64/AUS

2000

Electoral Division of Wentworth

LH324.64/AUS

Cohen Collection

In 1989, Randwick City Library received 36 boxes of research notes belonging to the late Victor Harley Cohen. The material concentrates on four areas of research:

  • Histories of Coogee
  • Rugby Union and the Randwick Club
  • Surf Life Saving, with emphasis on the Clovelly and Coogee Surf Life Saving Clubs
  • The Auditor-General's Department.
  • General notes, correspondences, bibliographies, photos and maps on other historical matters.

Victor Harley Cohen (1903-1988) was a public servant who rose to the position of Auditor-General of New South Wales in the 1960's, an avid sportsperson (playing first grade Rugby for Randwick and a prominent swimmer for Clovelly Surf Life Saving Club), Cohen rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander Royal Australian Navy Voluntary Reserves during the Second World War, serving on amongst other ships, HMAS Perth.

It is apparent that Cohen had finished two of his histories, those of Coogee and of Rugby Union. Unfortunately, only drafts exist of parts of both books. The remainder of the collection comprises notes and the sources for those notes.

  • The Coogee drafts concentrate on the early European contact with the area
  • The Rugby drafts concentrate on the history of the rules and some aspects of the Randwick club.

To gain access to the collection:

  • Permission must be sought in advance from the library manager or designated staff member
  • A form is filled out and the documents are to be used under the supervision of the above.

In using the collection:

  • The source should be acknowledged as from the Cohen Collection
  • Box - Folder Archival access principles will generally be followed
  • No pens or unnecessary handling of the material will be allowed.

Building application and inspection books

The Building Inspection and Building Application Books have varied information about the construction of buildings in the Randwick Local Government area.

Information in the Building Inspection Books is limited to:

  • Street name
  • Lot number
  • A description of the building to be built
  • Date the plan was deposited at Council
  • Name of the owner
  • Name of the builder and architect
  • The value of the buildings to be erected
  • The building surveyors report to the Committee.

The Building Application books contain information on:

  • Name of the owner
  • The ward in which the plan is located
  • The address
  • Type of construction
  • Cost of the building to be erected
  • The fee paid and a receipt number
  • The officer's report on the building with dates.

The detail in the officer's report is varied depending on approval of the building:

  • If alterations to the plans were necessary to gain approval a more detailed officer's report and a completion date was recorded
  • If buildings were approved immediately the Officer's report is usually very brief with the recording of one inspection and no completion date.

Randwick Council Heritage Inventory

Randwick Council published a Heritage Inventory in 1989, consisting of five volumes, one of which contains black-and-white photos and a brief description of 333 properties in the Randwick Municipality, considered to have historical value.

The 1998 Randwick Local Environment Plan list 431 properties of heritage value; however the plan only provides an address.

The Local Studies room at the Lionel Bowen Library contains:

  • The Heritage Inventory. Call No: LH711.4/RAN
  • The Randwick Local Environment Plan. Call No: LH333.7/RAN
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