Colourful and eventful stories and details from Sydney’s rich history will remain accessible for future generations thanks to the support of the City of Sydney.
The City is providing more than $164,000 in cash and in-kind support to ensure the Dictionary of Sydney has a secure future during its transition to its new host organisation, the State Library of NSW.
The Dictionary of Sydney is a free online reserve of Sydney facts and figures as well as urban myths, significant events, places, structures, nature and criminals.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the Dictionary was a fascinating log of our past and evolving history.
“The Dictionary of Sydney is an important and ever-expanding resource that provides locals, visitors and academics around the world with access to detailed information about all aspects of Sydney life and history,” the Lord Mayor said.
“These free, easily accessible multimedia materials and records contain fascinating stories of many notable Sydney characters and their exploits.
“As a founding partner of this valuable community resource, the City is delighted the State Library of NSW will host the Dictionary of Sydney, ensuring it can be enjoyed now and by generations to come.”
NSW State Librarian and Chief Executive, Dr Alex Byrne, welcomed the Dictionary of Sydney to the State Library.
"The Dictionary has a strong commitment to high quality content about our beautiful city. It will find a great home at the State Library which is equally dedicated to accuracy and continuing community access to the history and culture of our city, state and nation."
The new partnership with the State Library of NSW will ensure that the Dictionary of Sydney maintains remains sustainable and accessible.
Chair of the Dictionary of Sydney's Board, Professor Paul Ashton, said the partnership with the State Library is "a natural fit."
"We are delighted to form a new partnership with the State Library of NSW. The State Library is in the business of digital preservation. Their commitment to supporting the quality and development of the Dictionary makes the State Library an obvious home."
The City has provided more than $1.6 million in cash and in-kind support to the Dictionary of Sydney since 2005, including office space, web hosting and office furnishings.
The City’s latest funding will help in transferring the main website to the State Library of NSW. The City will also extend the lease of Benledi House in Glebe, home to the dictionary association, until December to support this transition period. Once settled, the Dictionary will continue to seek commissions for new work to continue the growth of the dictionary into the future.
Conceived in 2004, the Dictionary of Sydney grew out of an Australian Research Council project supported by the University of Sydney in partnership with University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), State Library of New South Wales and State Records, with the City of Sydney as industry partner.
More than 300 volunteer authors (professors, historians, experts and enthusiasts) have contributed to its content which is also used on an app for four walks: Randwick, convict Parramatta, Irish Sydney and Sydney Harbour Islands.
A selection from the thousands of fascinating stories on record are:
- Elsie Women’s Refuge in Glebe was the first refuge for women and children organised on feminist principles and was pivotal to the recognition of the social problem of domestic violence.http://dictionaryofsydney.org/building/elsie
- Coogee beach once had an English style amusement pier 180 metres long complete with a 1400-seat theatre, a 600 capacity ballroom, a 400 seat restaurant upstairs, small shops and a penny arcade. http://dictionaryofsydney.org/structure/coogee_pier
- Maria Locke was an Aboriginal woman who was granted land at Blacktown in the 1840s. http://dictionaryofsydney.org/person/lock_maria
- Randwick was named after major landholder Simeon Pearce’s home town in Gloucestershire, England. http://dictionaryofsydney.org/place/randwick
- Harriet and Helena Scott were the foremost natural science painters in New South Wales from 1850 until turn of the century, despite being born in an age when female scientific education was limited, women's 'gifts' were to be kept in the private sphere of home and hearth, and the professions were a male preserve. http://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/harriet_and_helena_scott
- Redfern had a small population of Indian Muslims living there in the early 1900s. http://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/muslims_in_sydney
- Appin, named in 1811 after the birthplace of Governor Macquarie's wife in Argyllshire Scotland, was the site of a massacre in 1816, when government troops drove a group of Aboriginal people over the gorge of the Cataract River. http://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/appin_massacre
- Golden Grove is the name of a subdivision within Darlington, but was also a store ship of the First Fleet which carried 22 crew, 4 passengers and tools to enable settlement in the new colony. Anvils, axes, tents, flour, chickens and Reverend Johnson's cats were amongst the varied cargo. http://dictionaryofsydney.org/artefact/golden_grove
- Willoughby Bay was the site of aeronaut and tightrope walker Henri L’Estrange’s daring walk across Sydney Harbour in 1877. http://dictionaryofsydney.org/person/lestrange_harry
- The Woodford Academy is the oldest surviving complex of colonial buildings in the Blue Mountains. http://dictionaryofsydney.org/building/woodford_academy
For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Paul Mackay on 0432 182 647 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dictionary of Sydney contact – Jacqueline Spedding, Executive Officer, Dictionary of Sydney, on 02 9571 1659 or email email@example.com