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Local History Grants

The Local History Collection is both the major and core collection of historical information pertaining to the LGA. The library aims to collect information that documents the social and cultural heritage of the local area. A wide range of both primary and secondary material is collected in all formats including regalia. The library participates in the national oral history programme and currently is undertaking a major project to increase public access to rate and valuation books; microfilming documents held in the State Government Repository. Parramatta Rd by Emilio Cresciani

Local History Grants

The Local History Collection is the first and most accessible point of access for the public seeking information ranging on a variety of topics e.g. genealogy, house research, prominent local figures, associations, council documents and local events. In a nutshell – People, Places and Events - the Local History Grants aim to support and enrich this diverse collection.

The 2017 Local History Grants application period is open until 5pm 10 August 2017.  Please see below for 2017 Grant Submission information, and check this site again in July 2018 for the next round of Local History Grants. 

Local History Grant Program Guidelines 2017 (PDF 3.7MB)

Arts and Culture and Local History Grants Program

Grant Amount: up to $7,500 will be available per project.

Apply here.

Applications are invited from eligible organisations or persons to undertake projects about people, places and events of historical significance to the Inner West local government area; comprising research, collections, archiving, conservation, publications and exhibitions about Leichhardt’s social and cultural history.

For more information contact Amie Zar, Local History Librarian, on 9367 9266 or Fiona Macdonald, Librarian, on 9367 9211, or email library@lmc.nsw.gov.au

Image: Parramatta Road Leichhardt, 2015 by Emilio Cresciani

Projects 2005 - 2017 : Completed and in Progress

 
Annandale : the realisation of a model township 1876 to 1899 - research

Now titled ’Marine Officer, Convict Wife: The Johnstons of Annandale. Research and publication of a history of the Subdivision of ‘Johnston’s Bush’ and the development of the North Annandale estate. Published October 2008.
Project co-ordinator: Dr Peter Reynolds, Historian

Annandale Urban Research Association (AURA) - Historical Journal - two issues

This project is the first two issues of the historical journal of AURA - Annandale Urban Research Association. The first issue will cover an overview of the suburb of Annandale from the traditional owners to the development by John Young and the Sydney Freehold Land and Building Development Investment Co. extending to the formation of the Annandale Society. The second issue will examine the Johnston Street Group of houses on the escarpment from Weynton to Rose Street, also known as the Witches Houses. The journal will be in both electronic and print format.
Project co-ordinator: Norma Perry and Beverley Walsh on behalf of AURA

Balmain Catholic Cemetery - CD and book

Three previous grants in 2008, 2009 and 2010 totalling $7,430 have supported this project to recreate the lost burial register of the now disappeared Balmain Catholic Cemetery; which was in use from 1868 to about 1902. To date 1,000 burials of approximately 1,400 burials have be located, researched and documented in a booklet and a CD of the History St. Columba’s Church and Parish. This grant is to complete the project by producing a CD listing the burials accompanied by a book on the History of Balmain Catholic Cemetery.
Project co-ordinator: Patrick Callaghan, Researcher

Balmain Catholic Cemetery - CD and book

Three previous grants in 2008, 2009 and 2010 totalling $7,430 have supported this project to recreate the lost burial register of the now disappeared Balmain Catholic Cemetery; which was in use from 1868 to about 1902. To date 1,000 burials of approximately 1,400 burials have be located, researched and documented in a booklet and a CD of the History St. Columba’s Church and Parish. This grant is to complete the project by producing a CD listing the burials accompanied by a book on the History of Balmain Catholic Cemetery.
Project co-ordinator: Patrick Callaghan, Researcher

Burial Register of the Balmain Catholic Cemetery- research

To recreate the LOST.html burial register of the long disappeared Balmain Catholic Cemetery which was located in Leichhardt during the period 1868 to 1906. 106 transcriptions yielded information on 74 burials. This brings the current number of burial records to 740. The current plan is to complete this project by 2010 when it is hoped that about 1,000 burials will have been located.
Project co-ordinator: Patrick Callaghan

Callan Street, Rozelle – oral histories and video

A history of Callan Street and its residents forming a cohesive capsule of Rozelle life from the old Harding & Sons 1930s factory/ early light industrial days to the present day.
Project co-ordinator: Dr. David Watson, Academic and Denise Corrigan, Archivist

Callan Park and Broughton Hall Stage 1 - research

Research begins with the early European history of the site - land grants to John Austen, Lawrence Butler, Francis Lloyd (1819) and Luke Ralph (1821). The estate history forms the next stage and concerns John Keep of Broughton Hall and John Ryan Brennan of Garry Owen. Research on the suburbs of the area leads to the establishment of Callan Park Hospital for the Insane from 1876 driven by Dr. Frederic Norton Manning and the Colonial Architect James Barnet. The founding of Broughton Hall Psychiatric Clinic and the contribution of Dr. Sydney Evan Jones will be established. The project closes with the 1961 Royal Commission, its aftermath and events leading up to amalgamations Rozelle Hospital.
Project co-ordinator: Dr. Peter Reynolds, Historian

Callan Park and Broughton Hall Stage 2 - writing and editing

A continuation of Stage 1 now undertaking writing, cartography, data entry and image editing
Project co-ordinator: Dr. Peter Reynolds, Historian

Callan Park - Compassion & Conflict in The Asylum

An exhibition at Leichhardt Library in conjunction with National Trust Heritage Festival 2015. Callan Park was established with the highest ideals of medical care and compassion. This exhibition captures the reflections of community members who recall some of the difficulties and sadness mental illness generated in families.
Project co-ordinator: Roslyn Burge

Dead Ends: the uses and abuses of the end streets as they meet the foreshores of Leichhardt – research

Research of public records and photographs relating to the use of pubic road reserves at the foreshores edge revealing the historical uses of street ‘dead ends’ At different periods these streets have had public and private uses – as wharfs, public open space, rowing clubs, baths etc.
Project co-ordinator: Meredith Walker, Heritage Consultant

Digitizing Documents from the FILEF Archive Collection - digitize 16,666 pages

In a 2012 grant project FILEF undertook and completed the archiving and cataloguing of audio visual and paper documents of FILEF’s 40 years of active presence in the Leichhardt community which has been deposited with the Leichhardt Library’s Local History Collection; resulting in 37 boxes containing documents, slides, audio cassettes and videotapes. This project is to digitise the FILEF Archive Collection.
Project co-ordinator: Claudio Marcello - President FILEF - Sydney

Faces in the Park - publication

This project will be a publication based on an exhibition co-curated for History Week 2010.  The initiative for that exhibition was the question "What does Callan Park mean to you?".  The very personal stories which formed the exhibition panels will be redesigned and illustrated with historic images and documentation.  Most importantly, the publication will capture a diverse range of views about memory, oral history and attachment - and what the site means to individuals.
Project co-ordinator: Roslyn Burge, Historian - in conjunction with Sydney College of the Arts (SCA)

From Victorian to Moderne : Streetscape Diversity in Balmain - photographs

This project will capture both sides of the total length of Mullens Street Balmain beginning at the intersection of Robert and Mullens Streets, continuing across the Beattie Street intersection into and along both sides of Montague Street. It will continue across Darling Street and along both sides of Rowntree street until no. 40 on the western side and no. 45 on the eastern side. At that point the streetscape becomes mainly residential with much less diversity of architectural styles. A comprehensive photographic capture will be undertaken of the row of two-story terrace houses in Glassop Street opposite Elkington Park.
Project co-ordinator: Russell Workman, Photographer

Historic Walks in the Leichhardt LGA – booklet

A collation of walks throughout the Leichhardt LGA as an easy reference guide for walkers
Project co-ordinator: Heritage Group of Leichhardt District (HGOLD)

History of the Federation of Italian Workers and their Families (FILEF) - publication and audiovisual

A history of FILEF NSW has not yet been written. Based in Leichhardt, FILEF has been active in NSW, as well as nationwide, since the early 1970s.  The project will assess chronologically its history, its involvement with the Italian and the Australian community at large.  It will assess its cultural initiatives, welfare assistance programmes, publication record (including its newspaper Nuovo Paese) and its relationship with its counterparts in Victoria, South Australia and Italy. 
Project co-ordinator: Dr Gianfranco Cresciani - Consulting Historian

History of Snails Bay Sabot Sailing Club - research and publish B&W book with photographs

This project is to research and publish the history of the Snails Bay Sabot Sailing Club; themes are the long history of sailing being passed onto children, the importance of family in Balmain in the 1960’s, the significance of the waterfront industries to Snails Bay and to Balmain focusing on the industrial and social changes that occurred between 1992 and 1973.
Project co-ordinator: Asa Wahlquist, Journalist

Hunter Baillie. A History of the Presbyterian Church in Annandale - new edition eBook in PDF with print on demand

This project is to prepare and publish a new edition of the 1973 original publication which is now out of print. The new publication will include new early history of the church, especially its design and fabric. Additionally, further research will be undertaken to bring the story up to date from 1950 to 2010. Presbyterian parishes are important social organisations and their fortunes indicate major demographic changes over time. The Hunter Baillie Church has high heritage value and a high continuing cultural importance
Project co-ordinator: Dr Alan Robert, Historian

Italo-Australian Archives - archive

Through the conserving and archiving of materials of over 40 years of FILEF's activities in the Leichhardt area this project will lead to a unique deposit of material in the Local History Collection.  It will establish an accessible record of FILEF's contribution to the social, cultural and community life of Leichhardt through their involvement with local schools, community groups, residents and local business.
Project co-ordinator: Federation of Italian Migrant Workers and their Families - FILEF Sydney

Leichhardt Aldermen 1872-1948 - research

 An alphabetically arranged collection of interpretative biographical articles and memorials to the early aldermen of Leichhardt; recording lives, families and careers. A good contextual outline of the influential people who shaped Leichhardt including dertials to understand their family history, occupations and social status and the more complex social links with labour, politics and sport.
Project co-ordinator: Tricia Mack, Historian

Leichhardt Historical Journal No. 24

Journal No. 24 comprises new articles and completes articles commenced in LHJ No. 23; these articles further support heritage conservation in the Leichhardt LGA. The articles are
Rowland Walpole Loane, Esq, at Balmain by Eric Young
Birchgrove House – an update by Peter Reynolds
Thomas Elliott & Isaac Tester, Leichhardt East Boneboilers by Peter Reynolds
Section 7 Waterview Estate by Peter Reynolds
Section 8 Waterview Estate by Peter Reynolds
Project co-ordinator: Dr. Peter Reynolds, Historian
Leichhardt Historical Journal

Leichhardt Historical Journal No. 25 - journal

Journal No. 25 completes articles commenced in No. 24; these articles further support heritage conservation in the Leichhardt LGA. The articles are:
Frances Hemming, Leichhardt Boneboiler, Part 2 by John Mitchell
The Haunted House, 51 Piper Street& Francis Hemming by Peter Reynolds
A semi-Rural Retreat, Places, People & Society in Glebe 1828-1861 by Max Solling
The Elswick Heights Estate by Peter Reynolds The Waterview Estate by Peter Reynolds
Project co-ordinator: Dr. Peter Reynolds, Historian
Leichhardt Historical Journal

Leichhardt Memorial Plaques – photographic archive

A complete inventory of surviving foundation stones, monuments, memorials, tablets and plaques in the Leichhardt Municipality.
Project co-ordinator: Heritage Group of Leichhardt District (HGOLD)
HGOLD - Photographic Archive

Leichhardt Wanderers Story - DVD

This is an original documentary recording the history of the Leichhardt Wanderers community over a timespan of 100 years. IT explores the origins of the club which started with a group of boxers from the historic Leichhardt Stadium in the early 1900s. The first clubhouse was situated in the Joe Barrett Snooker Hall, Norton Street, Leichhardt in 1911. It is a story of friendship and community, anchored in its working class origins.
Project co-ordinator: Julie Nebauer on behalf of Leichhardt Wanderers Junior Rugby League Club

Lesbian and Gay History of Leichhardt

 This project explores the rich lesbian and gay history of the Leichhardt Local Government Area. The project comprises of six oral histories, a website and a booklet entitled Out and About: Sydney's Lesbian Scene 1960s-1980s.
Project co-ordinator: Dr Rebecca Jennings, Historian

Marine Officer, Convict Wife: The Johnstons of Annandale – book

George Johnston played an important part in creating a viable colony out of pitiable beginnings. He gained enduring notoriety for deposing Governor Bligh in 1808 but his wider role as a solider and entrepreneur was no less important. This book illuminates Johnston’s achievements and the cost to him. More striking is the depiction of Esther, a young milliner transported for stealing 21 yards of silk lace, who rose to play a key role im managing Johnston’s large pastoral properties.
Project co-ordinator: Dr. Peter Reynolds, Historian

Mondo and More: the 20th century Greening of Leichhardt – report and public lecture

A detailed report on the shifting patterns in the greening of Leichhardt and domestic gardens representing across the different suburbs in the Leichhardt municipality; comprising photographs, maps, aerials, streetscapes and individual gardens. It considers the shift from growing vegetables for domesticate consumption to ‘lifestyle gardens’ and decorative planting. Also consider the development of community gardens and increased native planting.
Project co-ordinator: Roslyn Burge, Historian

Movers and Shakers: Women of the Leichhardt Community Vol. 2 - monograph

 Volume one researched selected women from the local community spanning from early settlement to 1945. Volume 2 was planned to focus on women community leaders post 1945. Sadly due to the death of author Davidia (Dee) Peters the Volume 2 remains uncompleted.
Project co-ordinator: Jo de Groot

Mrs Heyden of Leichhardt - the Mother of Mother's Day - research and publish an illustrated biography

This project is to research and publish a limited edition biography, of approximately 100 pages, on the life of Mrs. Janet Heyden who started Mother’s Day in Australia also owning a Florist Shop at 5 Norton Street. Janet was a member of the Auxiliary Committee for the Home for the Destitute Women and Children, a member of the Feminist Club, a founding member of the NSW Women Justices Association and the NSW president of the Radiant Health Club.
Project co-ordinator: Margaret Kearns, Retired Accountant and Researcher

Place is People: Annandale1907 – 2007 - monograph

 This book covers the history of Annandale; its significant people, places and events. Commencing in 1907 a year that witnessed the inauguration of iconic landmark Bentons Real Estate, Annandale North Public School and the birth of Cardinal James Freemann. The death of Sir John Young and the beginning of the break up of his vast Kentville estate are highlights.
Project co-ordinator: Mary Haire, Writer and researcher

Preservation Survey Report, Anglican Church of St John the Evangelist, Balmain North

Conservation and repair of the photographic images and related documentary materials of St. John’s Church; before digitization. Develop an appropriate conservation strategy for the parish’s heritage collection and to assist in the microfilming of the bulk of the parish’s archival records.
Project co-ordinator: John Williams

Private Archives of Leichhardt (PAL) – website

 Research and compilation of information on privately held historical collections in the Leichhardt local government area; people, places and businesses. To ascertain and catalogue privately held collections of family history, details of local business, and histories of schools, photographs and ephemera.
Project co-ordinator: Heritage Group of Leichhardt District (HGOLD)
HGOLD - Privately Held Collections

Rowing on with Leichhardt by Merle Kavanagh - book

 The book commences with the opening of the Leichhardt Rowing Club in 1886 by Sir Henry Parkes, the rebuilding of a boathouse destroyed by storm, the membership who fought in two World Wars and the former Olympians who continue to lend support to the club.
Project co-ordinator: Barry Moynahan, Vice President, Leichhardt Rowing Club, 2007

Rozelle Hospital Oral History Project

Rozelle hospital closed in March 2008. Interviews of current and former staff at Rozelle Hospital; recording reminiscences of medical practices, patient care, the role the grounds and the landscape played in patient therapy, changing patterns of use of the building, community reactions, recreation fro patients, sporting events and the strong migrant communities within the domestic staff.
Project co-ordinator: Roslyn Burge, Historian

Stories from the Leichhardt Area – booklet

Publication of this booklet contains 7 stories of people and places arising from the Pal project – the Private Archives of Leichhardt; shedding light on the way of life of some of the early inhabitants of the Leichhardt Area.
Project co-ordinator: Heritage Group of Leichhardt District (HGOLD)

Swimming in Leichhardt - research

History of public baths, some private baths, swimming pools and informal bathing areas along the foreshores of the Leichhardt local government area.
Project co-ordinator: Meredith Walker, Heritage Consultant

Tony Dixon Legacy – publications

Collection of local identity and community worker Tony Dixon’s writings and artworks; locating sources and subjects of Tony’s work in preparation of publication.
Project co-ordinator: Jo de Groot

Transforming the Local - oral histories

This is an oral history project, designed to explore the experience of gentrification, particularly responses to social and cultural changes in the Leichhardt municipality from the 1960s to the present day. 10 interviews and transcriptions completed.
Project co-ordinator: Dr. Paula Hamilton, Historian

The Mural In The Crescent, Annandale - oral histories, workshop and website data

The mural in The Crescent is a key place for understanding the history of Community and Council activism in the 70s and into the 80s in explaining the issues, people and organisations.
Project co-ordinator: Bruce Lay - Heritage Solutions.

Street Names of Leichhardt

A book of Street Names and Places of Leichhardt a research that will provide an overview of the people, places and events current at the time the streets were first named. The publication will include 110 streets in the Leichhardt Suburb.
Project co-ordinator: Patrick James

Centenary of Leichhardt Wanderers J.L.C

This project is to publish a book marking 100 years of Leichhardt Wanderers RLC with an emphasis on the involvement of families through generations of participation in District Sport.
Project co-ordinator: Geoff Large

Ballast Point Campaign - oral histories

Saving Ballast Point 2.6 is an oral history project designed to explore the experiences of local activists in Balmain who fought to save the Ballast Point peninsula for community open space. Ballast Point is a 2.6 hectare site in Birchgrove. Between 1928 and the mid-1990s the site operated as a fuel storage and refuelling depot operated by Caltex.
The project will use oral history interviews to record the experiences of local community activists who fought to save the site from residential development over a 20 year period. It is anticipated 8 to 10 interviews will be undertaken. Interviewees will be identified through established networks and a notice in the next issue of the local precinct bulletin.
Project co-ordinator: Bruce Carter, Local History Researcher

Heritage Photographic Booklet

200 Historic Photographs comprising of 50 photographs of each of the following areas: the Balmain Peninsula, Rozelle/Lilyfield, Leichhardt and Annandale.
Project co-ordinator: Leichhardt Heritage Committee

Unilever at Balmain - digitisation and visual display

This project is to digitise photographs and images in the Unilever archive held by RHAS.  Some of this material, along with other material, will be used to mount a visual display of the history of Unilever at Balmain.  A web version of this display will be created for display on the ASHET website and will be made available to the Leichhardt Council and RAHS websites and as a listing in Trove.
Project co-ordinator: ASHET - Australian Society for History of Engineering and Technology

Home Gardens of Haberfield

This research will result in producing a web site, a book and an article in an academic journal about selected home gardens in Haberfield. The intention is to map, document and showcase the neighbourhood’s cultural diversity through interviews with gardeners and photographs of gardens. Gardens have been identified as significant locations of place-making and environmental negotiation for communities in Australia. Gardens are also seen as sites where people can maintain and create cultural and aesthetic practices, add to the cultural and environmental diversity of the urban landscape, and provide the location for greening practices in everyday life.
Project co-ordinator: Dr Ilaria Vanni - UTS - Senior Lecturer

History of Addison Road Cultural Centre

The history of Addison Road Cultural Centre (ARCC) is linked to some of the nations’ most significant events including cultural links by the Cadigal people to the Gumbramorra swamp, The history of the site includes its stint as an army depot during WWI and as a major centre for the army in all the conflicts of the twentieth century. The depot processed recruits from across the Inner West Sydney area, NSW and Australia. In WWII it became a place of national significance as a Leave and Transit depot. During the Vietnam War it registered Sydney conscripts and was the focus of protests by Save Our Sons, one of the most unique anti-conscription protest groups of its time. Transformed into a community centre, it had a pivotal role in the birth of multiculturalism in the 1970s. This will be a lively, engaging publication that will be a permanent record for the Inner West and beyond.
Project co-ordinator: Sue Castrique

Ashfield & District Historical Society - Ashfield Bowling Club

The Ashfield Bowling Club has acquired a new collection. The collection  includes minute books, photographs, certificates, paper cuttings, and historical booklets, and with the use of preventive conservation methods, is being conserved, restored and digitised to become more publicly accessible. This material plays an important part documenting the history of Ashfield.
Project co-ordinator: Bindiya Kumar

Callen Street - Now and Then

Our research project, supported by a Leichhardt Local History Grant (2007-16), culminated in Made in Callan Street a weekend exhibition in March 2016 enjoyed by 200 people as part of LOST (the former Leichhardt Open Studio Trail). Mounted amidst the industrial echoes of the A. E. Harding & Sons shopfittings works which became our Rozelle home studio in 1991, the exhibition featured artists, elders and industries with a "lived" connection to our street and its Iron Cove/Callan Park surrounds. Drawing upon 25 years of neighbourly congress and archival research, the exhibition re-calibrated the idea of ‘manufacturing’ to include the urban making of art, music, film, poetry, electricity, cakes and children. Resuscitating the local histories of woodturning, welding and fish-farming, the project celebrated the everyday marvels and layers of one quite-short, seemingly-nondescript street. All that we gleaned – every object, image, artwork and strand of story – was derived from lives, homes, gardens and gutters a stone’s throw from our front doorstep.
Project co-ordinator: David Watson

APIA Leichhardt Tigers Football Club

Our project will assist residents, in particular new residents, to have an understanding of the Club's history. The Club is a community pillar and a part of the local society's fabric. It is greatly admired and loved, and has been a significant focus for the community since 1954, reaching the daily lives of thousands of people. The Club's history is widely respected and admired and our intention is to capture the significant role it plays in the community.
Project co-ordinator: Mr Emanuele Ziino

Balmain Rowing Club's Historical Archive Collection

Balmain Rowing Club was established in 1882 and has continuously operated, from the original shed, with committee meetings held each month and minutes taken. The earliest minute book in our collection is from 1888 and we have books until 1964, with some years missing. Our project was to scan and digitise the original books in order to preserve the ones which have survived to date and to make their contents easily accessible and available to all local Inner West readers, historians and researchers. We also scanned the club's Championship Certificates. The completion of this project can be found at Balmain Rowing Club Archives and Balmain Rowing Club Minute Books.
Project co-ordinator: Beverley Malone