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Visiting the Archives

Viewing archival records
Information on visiting the Archives, record copying, publication and citation.

Before you plan your visit, search our collection to identify the records you would like to view.

Planning your visit

Our reading room is located on level 9 in Fisher Library.

Visits are by appointment only, Monday to Friday 9.30am to 1pm and 2 to 4.30pm. We are closed weekends, public holidays and Monday to Friday between 1 and 2pm.

Making an appointment

Once you have identified the records that you'd like to view, make an appointment by email to or call +61 2 9351 2684.

Please request materials as far in advance of your visit as possible. As we have limited space, please advise us if there are two or more of you intending to visit. To reschedule your visit, please contact us.

Please read our Conditions of Access to the Archives form (pdf, 51KB) before you visit the Archives.

If you cannot visit in person to carry out detailed research, you may wish to engage a research agent. Lists of researchers are available from the Professional Historians Association of NSW and the Society of Australian Genealogists.

Access to the University's records is governed by the State Records Act 1998 (NSW). Restricted access conditions may apply to some records, especially in the personal archives collections. Records less than thirty years old are generally not available to public access, as well as records containing personal information less than fifty years old. Researchers are asked to complete the conditions of access to archives form (pdf, 51KB) when they visit the Archives.

We provide a limited reference enquiry service to people who cannot visit in person, replying by email, letter or phone call.

For more information about our archival holdings, please see our pages for: 

Many research enquiries are quickly answered using the following published sources of information:

  • Australia's First. A History of the University of Sydney, Vol 1, 1850–1939 by C Turney, U Bygott & P Chippendale (Sydney, 1991)
  • Australia's First. A History of the University of Sydney, Vol 2 1940-1999 by WF Connell, GE Sherington, BH Fletcher, C Turney & U Bygott (Sydney, 1995)
  • Australia's First. A Pictorial History of the University of Sydney, 1850–1990 by K Cable, C Turney & U Bygott (Sydney)
  • Sydney. The Making of a Public University by Julia Horne and Geoffrey Sherington (The Miegunyah Press, 2012)
  • The University of Sydney, 1850–1972 by GL Fischer (The University of Sydney, 1975)
  • Stained Glass and Stone.The Gothic Buildings of the University of Sydney by Bertha McKenzie (The University of Sydney, 1989)
  • Pioneer Women Graduates of the University of Sydney by U Bygott & KJ Cable (The University of Sydney, 1985)
  • University of Sydney Architecture by Trevor Howells (The Watermark Press, 2007)

Any copying is subject to the Copyright Act 1968 and the physical conditions of the record. All requests must use the request for copying form (pdf, 30KB) and delete subject to conditions.

With the permission of the archivist, you may use your personal device to make copies. We do not have copying facilities for use by researchers.

Permission to make a copy is not permission to publish or further reproduce the material. For more information see publications.

We have limited capacity to copy materials for researchers and charges apply. To arrange for copying, speak to an archivist at the time of your visit or use the request for images form (pdf, 31KB).

Specialised copying services (eg, for outsized items, fragile material or large numbers of items) are outsourced to an external service provider. A quote will be provided to you before engaging the service provider and you will be responsible for payment.

Copying images

Subject to the physical condition of the image and any copyright restrictions, a maximum of three copies per annum will be supplied to researchers free of charge. For more than three images, the standard charges, as noted below, will apply.

In-house copying

The Archives charges a minimum of $40 per half hour for any in house copying of documents and images.

Reproductions of large photographs, fragile documents, maps and plans

The Archives has no facilities for copying large records such as maps and plans and we do not copy fragile documents in house. Where we can arrange an external service provider to complete copying requests, the researcher is responsible for costs of the copying plus an hourly charge, with a minimum of one hour to be charged.

The provision of copies in any form does not constitute permission to publish or further reproduce the record. To seek permission to publish, complete the request to publish form (pdf, 30KB).

Commercial publication

Requests for reproductions by commercial publications will incur an additional charge of $60.

The Archives must be cited in either a full or an abbreviated form.

Full citation format:

University of Sydney Archives
Collection name,
Collection reference number/Series/Item number
Description and date of the item

Abbreviated citation format:

Collection reference number/Series/Item number
Description and date of the item

Example one

University of Sydney Archives: AP Elkin Personal Archives, P130/5/72, Field notebooks and other research material relating to Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory; Genealogy notebook, 1949


USA: Elkin P130/5/72, Genealogy notebook, 1949

Example two

University of Sydney Archives: Miscellaneous Photographs, G3/224/0009; Fifth Year Medical Students, 1909


USA: G3/224/0009; Fifth Year Medical Students, 1909

Example three

University of Sydney Archives: Miscellaneous items with various provenance, 1117/107054; A description of the badges of Sydney University Regiment, 1970


USA: 1117/107054; A description of the badges of Sydney University Regiment, 1970

Featured image (top of the page): Botany Building, in Science Road, in the course of construction, 1924.

Contact the archives

  • +61 2 9351 2684

University Archives

Postal address

University Archives
The Quadrangle (A14)
Camperdown Campus
University of Sydney
NSW 2006