Local history resources

Hawkesbury Library Service holds a wealth of resources relating to the history of the Hawkesbury, for researchers and students. Also check the Family history resources page for additional information.

To view holdings check the library catalogue but note that not everything in the collection is indexed.

Items in the Local Studies Collection include:

Books

Published books relating to the Hawkesbury district include local history, architecture, school and church histories as well as Australian history. Conservation plans on local buildings as well as reports on local environmental issues are also held.

How to access: In-Library, search the catalogue for holdings

Community archives

A selection of community organisations' archives are kept. Some examples include St Albans Common Trust, Maraylya Progress Association and Hawkesbury Horticultural Society.

How to access: In-Library only, search the catalogue for holdings. It is necessary to make an appointment with the Local History Librarian history@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au, to view these records.

Council records

Records are held for the former Windsor (1871) and Richmond (1872) Councils, which amalgamated in 1949 to form Windsor Municipal Council. Windsor merged with Colo Shire (1906) to form Hawkesbury Shire in 1981. The council attained city status in 1989. Material held includes:

Minute Books

Minutes books are available from 1871 for Windsor, 1872 for Richmond and from 1906 for Colo. They record information from meetings and details of the business performed and decisions reached by the various Councils. These records are not indexed however searching newspapers on Trove might provide a starting point for your research, as details of meetings were often reported in the local newspapers.

Rate Books

Rate and Valuation books record details of land ownership through the property taxes levied by Council. Details of the owners and/or the occupiers of a property and sometimes a brief description of a building are included.  Rate books are available from 1871 for Windsor, 1872 for Richmond and from 1906 for Colo.

Correspondence and miscellaneous records

These records contain information relevant to the Hawkesbury Local Government Area.  They include some correspondence from 1870s-1920s as well as surviving letter (correspondence) books and newspaper clippings. Tenders for works, some election material and miscellaneous items are also held.

How to access: In-Library, on microfilm, search the catalogue for holdings

Court records

Windsor Court House records date from the 1820s. State Records holds the majority of these records.  The Library, however, holds some material on microfilm including some Bench books, Quarter plus Petty session records and Deposition books for periods of the19th century. Some court records from other localities, including Lower Portland and North Richmond, are also held.

How to access: In-Library, on microfilm, search the catalogue for holdings

Databases

More and more Australian content, useful for local history research, is being made available on databases such as Ancestry Library and Find My Past. Find out about Ancestry Library and Find My Past on the eLibrary - Family history page.

How to access: In-Libraries only, using the Library’s PCs or your own device and the Library’s wifi.

Directories and electoral rolls

Click here to find out about directories and electoral rolls on the Family history resources page

Maps

The Local Studies Collection holds historical, geographical, topographical and parish maps of the district which may provide information about local history, family history and geographical information about the landscape. These are housed in map cabinets in the Local Studies area. Parish maps plus some historic maps can be accessed online via Land and Property Information.

How to access: In-Library, search the catalogue for holdings

Newspapers

The Local Studies Collection has a large holding of newspapers which are available in different formats. Some are available online 24/7 and some can only be used within the library.  The Library’s PCs or your own portable device can be used to access these.

Various Hawkesbury newspapers produced during the 19th – 20th centuries have been digitised through the support of the Hawkesbury Library Service and are available on the National Library of Australia website called TROVE This site provides digitised newspapers between 1803 and 1955 and later, from all over Australia.  It is free, fully searchable and includes transcriptions. Some newspapers on TROVE are also available in the Library on microfilm.

The Library also has some newspaper subscriptions which, due to licensing restrictions, are only accessible by visiting the Library.

The Library also has subscriptions to a number of online databases (for use in the Library only) including the Sydney Morning Herald Archives and the British Newspaper Archives (BNA).

Local Publications

Publication dates held in collection

Format

How to access

Australian, Windsor, Richmond & Hawkesbury Advertiser

1873-1899

TROVE

Online 24/7

Hawkesbury Advocate

1899-1900

TROVE

Online 24/7

Hawkesbury Bicentennial Times

1994-1995

microfilm

In-Library, Windsor only

Hawkesbury Chronicle & Farmers Advocate

1881-1888

TROVE

Online 24/7

Hawkesbury Courier

1981- present

microfilm

In-Library, Windsor only

Hawkesbury Courier & Agricultural and General Advertiser

1844 -1846

TROVE

Online 24/7

Hawkesbury District Independent

2010-present

microfilm

In-Library, Windsor only

Hawkesbury Gazette

formerly Windsor & Richmond Gazette

1983- present

microfilm

In-Library, Windsor only

Hawkesbury Herald

1902-1945

TROVE

Online 24/7

Hawkesbury Independent

1995 -2007

microfilm

In-Library, Windsor only

Hawkesbury Nepean Review

1972 -1976

microfilm

In-Library, Windsor only

Macquarie Towns Review

1977-1982

microfilm

In-Library, Windsor only

Windsor & Richmond Gazette

now Hawkesbury Gazette

1888-1955

TROVE

Online 24/7

Windsor & Richmond Gazette

now Hawkesbury Gazette

1888 -1983

microfilm

In-Library, Windsor only

Windsor Express & Richmond Advertiser

1843-1844

TROVE

Online 24/7

Miscellaneous Publications

Publication dates held in collection

Format

How to access

Australian town & country journal

1870-1907

1908-

TROVE

microfilm

Online 24/7

In-library Windsor only

British Newspaper Archives

1710-1950s

Database

In-library only, both libraries

Cumberland Argus & Fruitgrowers Advocate

1888-1962

TROVE

Online 24/7

Cumberland Free Press

1895 - 1897

TROVE

Online 24/7

Nepean Times

1882-1962

TROVE

Online 24/7

Sydney Gazette

1803-1842

TROVE

Online 24/7

Sydney Morning Herald (SMH)

1831- 1955

TROVE

Online 24/7

Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) Archives

1955-1996

Database

In-library only, both libraries

Sydney Morning Herald (SMH)

1831-1955 &

1996 to present

Microfilm & hardcopy

In-library Windsor only

Newsletters and journals

The Local Studies Collection holds a range of community and business newsletters and journals.

How to access: In-Library, search the catalogue for holdings

Pamphlet file

The pamphlet file includes information such as reports, research, newspaper and journal articles, ephemera, pamphlets, as well as information about buildings and places.

How to access: In-Library, access with staff assistance, search the catalogue for holdings

Photographs (Hawkesbury Images)

The Library has a large collection of images relating to the Hawkesbury district which are accessible through our Hawkesbury Images database in Local Studies. Some of the collection is also available to view online via Hawkesbury Images

The Library is always seeking to add more images or moving pictures (movie, video or DVD) to the collection.

How to access: In-Library, plus some material online, access 24/7

Special collections

A number of special collections are available as part of the Local Studies Collection, including the following:

  • William Walker solicitor papers 1820s-1920s
  • Windsor and Richmond Trust records 1840s-1860s
  • Richmond School of Arts 1861-2001
  • Family archives of John Thomas Matcham Pitt of Sunnyside, North Richmond1883-1924
  • Richard Coley Masonic Lodge records

How to access: In-Library, search the catalogue for holdings. Most of these have been microfilmed and are currently being digitised.

Starting your research

Firstly, look at Using the Local Studies Collection (pdf - 727.0 KB) for more information.
Use the Library catalogue to search for local history resources. There are many books published on a variety of topics such as church and school histories, specific stories on localities and family histories which might be useful. There are also a number of general local histories including:

Hawkesbury 1794-1994 by J Barkley & M Nichols
Macquarie Country by D G Bowd
Hawkesbury Journey by D G Bowd
Hawkesbury Pictorial by M Nichols
Early Days of Windsor by J Steele
Exploring the Hawkesbury by R I Jack

Not all local studies materials are indexed but our research guides/fact sheets may assist you:

Research

A personal visit to the Library is recommended as the best way to continue your research.  Library staff can assist by directing you to the various local studies resources, at any time during Library opening hours.

If you are making a special visit to use the collection, it is highly recommended that you contact the Local History Librarian history@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au prior to your visit to discuss your research needs.

For researchers unable to visit, we have a research service which is undertaken on a fee basis on material that is unique to our collection, for people living long distances from the Library.  Contact the Local History Librarian history@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or (02) 4560 4466 for more information.

Related sites

Some sites that may be useful for your research:

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