Sydney City Archives – Useful Historical Resource

A rich resource on the history of Lebanese settlement in the Redfern area

Because the Sydney suburbs of Redfern, Surry Hills and Waterloo (the site of Redfern’s Lebanese Quarter) are in the boundares of the City of Sydney, its archives are an invaluable resource for studying the history of Lebanese settlement in Australia. Searching for subjects in the archives will reveal many Lebanese who have lived in Redfern and nearby areas along with material about the busnesses and everyday affairs. The Sydney City Archives online index is at http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/learn/history/archives.

You need to be aware that the focus of the Archives is municipal, and that municipal records have more detail as the 20th century progresses. However, the index to the City’s records opens up a rich resource for researchers. The index also provides access to their property Assessment Books from 1845 and 1948 which lists street addresses and their owners. There is also a rich collection of more than 100,000 photograph.

Case Studies
Below are the results of a few random searches from the Simple Search tool on the Archives Investigator:
• 9 January 1953 for an application by S. Hayek and E. Joseph to use premises at 278 to 280 Cleveland Street, Surry Hill as a Lebanese Restaurant and Club. (181/53)
• Lebanon St. Redfern citizens want to change the name of Great Buckingham Street to Lebanon Street, 28 Jun 1963, Newsclipping Books. 759/34/142b
• Record 759/37/197b shows that Sydney Lord Mayor Harry Jensen flew from Rome to Beirut for a three-day vist to the Lebanese capital
• 137/659 – 659/661 Elizabeth Street, Waterloo. Subject of real property application. No. 46150. St Michaels Syrian Melkite Catholic Church. Definition of alignments. Register General’s Department, 8 April 1978
• 26/293/1269, Letter from Hugh Howarth, Solicitor, Farrell’s Chambers, 72 King Street, requests on behalf of Joseph Malouf, Omnibus Proprietor, repairs to the section of Devonshire Street in front of the Railway Station. 10 August, 1897
• 275/59 – 168 King Street, Newtown. Renovation and use for shoe repairs and jewellery and watchmakers business. M. Atallah. 28 April 1959


Albert Cricket Ground, Redfern.  Bounded by  Morehead,  Kettle, Curtis, Walker, Bilston , Alderson , Elizabeth and Phillips Streets, 1877. (SRC19815  Sydney City Archies). Some of the ealiest Lebanese settlers camped  on this ground  before authorities  evicted  them.

Albert Cricket Ground, Redfern. Bounded by Morehead, Kettle, Curtis, Walker, Bilston , Alderson , Elizabeth and Phillips Streets, 1877. (SRC19815 Sydney City Archies). Some of the ealiest Lebanese settlers camped on this ground before authorities evicted them.

Hawker in City

Hawker with basket of goods crossing George Street, Haymarket, 1942. (SRC6023 – Sydney City Archives).


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