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Established in 1954, with the appointment of David Neil Stirling Macmillan as University Archivist (the first qualified archivist in an Australian university), we are responsible for the care and preservation of the University’s administrative records such as those of the University’s key governing bodies and offices, including the Academic Board, Accountants Office, Board of Studies, Buildings and Grounds, Office of the Vice-Chancellor, Professorial Board, Registrar, Senate, and other University offices.
We have records relating to departments, faculties, schools, and other academic units, such as for Agriculture, Anatomy, Arts, Biology/Zoology, Chemistry, Economics, Engineering, Geology, Medicine, Physics/Astrophysics, and Science. We also have the administrative records of institutions which have amalgamated with the University, including the Cumberland College of Health Sciences (CCHS), Guild Teachers College, Sydney College of Advanced Education (SCAE), Sydney College of the Arts (SCA), Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and the Sydney Teachers College (STC).
Additionally, we hold audio-visual media, photographs, and publications (including annual reports, award conferring programs, brochures, calendars, handbooks, films, sound recordings, and video recordings) documenting the University, as well as a significant collection of personal papers of people closely associated with the University. Please note that Rare Books & Special Collections of the Fisher Library also have personal papers.
We do not have records for the Archives of Australian Judaica, Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness (SUSF), University of Sydney Union (USU), or the residential colleges (Sancta Sophia, St Andrew's, St John's, St Paul's, Wesley, or the Women’s Colleges).
To learn more about emeritus professors, former officers, and honorary-award holders, visit Our people. Please note that these pages are not maintained by the University Archives and may not be up to date.
We hold the oldest Australian academic anthropology records documenting First Nations communities in Australia and the South Pacific region, including the records of anthropologists AP Elkin, HIP Hogbin, AR Radcliffe-Brown and Camilla Wedgwood. The anthropology field research and teaching records for 1926 to 1956 were inscribed in the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register in 2017 (learn more about this significant recognition).
The records contain sensitive content in various formats including audio, film, photographs, and printed material, which may be considered distressing or offensive. First Nations peoples should be aware that we hold material that contain images and names of deceased people, which may cause sadness, particularly to the relatives of these people.
The records presented may contain descriptions and words which may not reflect current understandings. In particular, material regarding First Nations peoples and cultures has historically been created and recorded by non-Indigenous people and may not have had the input of First Nations peoples themselves. As a result, this material may contain inaccuracies and misinterpretations, or words and descriptions which could be considered insensitive, outdated and/or offensive in today's context. While we do not necessarily support such language and views, it is considered important historically to present this information without alteration.
Care and discretion should be taken when viewing these records and their descriptions.
Please consult our Cultural Care and Sensitivity statement for more information.
The University Archives' GL Fischer Search Room is open by appointment only for research (10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday). An appointment must be made at least two business days prior to visiting us. Please search our collections to first determine which record/s are required for your visit and include the Identifier of the required record/s when contacting us to book the appointment. The user guides available under Help can assist with browsing and searching records, accessing and requesting records, and citing and referencing records. If you are unable to locate the required item/s, please contact us.
Banner image: Main Quadrangle Through Cloister Arch Looking at the Jacaranda Tree (No Date), [REF-00013102]. University of Sydney Archives, accessed 17/11/2023, https://archives-search.sydney.edu.au/nodes/view/32974