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This website has been compiled by Davina Jackson to support local history communications by the Walsh Bay Precinct Association, managed by Darren Gardner and Joanne Craft.

Several historians kindly provided valuable information not credited elsewhere: notably Wayne Johnson and Natalie Gedeon (Property NSW), Donna Newton (Royal Australian Historical Society), Anne Warr (Millers Point Residents Action Group), Susan Rowe (great grand-daughter and family historian of Henry Deane Walsh), Mary Knaggs (Urbis), and Tasman Storey (Tropman and Tropman).


Images on this site were mainly sourced from the online catalogues of major public collections. Abbreviations used in caption credits are:

  • AGNSW Art Gallery of New South Wales
  • ANMM Australian National Maritime Museum
  • APMR Antique Print and Map Room
  • AUG or Aust. Galls Australian Galleries
  • AWM Australian War Memorial
  • BNHM British Natural History Museum
  • CoS City of Sydney
  • DoS Dictionary of Sydney (State Library and City of Sydney)
  • Lebovic Joseph Lebovic Gallery
  • LSM Living Sydney Museums (formerly Historic Houses Trust)
  • NGV National Gallery of Victoria
  • NLA National Library of Australia
  • NT National Trust (NSW)
  • ProjGut Project Gutenberg
  • PropNSW Property New South Wales
  • RAHS Royal Australian Historical Society
  • SAR State Archives and Records (NSW)
  • SLNSW State Library of New South Wale
  • STC Sydney Theatre Company
  • TasMus Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
  • WBPA Walsh Bay Precinct Association


Below is a list of books and reports which generally explain the history of Sydney, including our waterfront area. Other useful sources are cited in our posts on specific subjects.

Anon, 1855, Australian Keepsake: Landscape Scenery Illustrating Sydney and Port Jackson New South Wales 1855. Sydney and Melbourne: Sands and Kenny, London: Sands and Son.

Annable, Rosemary, 2000 (rev. edn 2009), Draft History: Museum of Contemporary Art Site. Sydney: Casey and Lowe (heritage report on the early wharves and Boatbuilding sites at Sydney Cove).

Aplin, Graeme and John Storey, 1984, Waterfront Sydney 1860–1920. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.

Aplin, Graeme (ed.), 1988, A Difficult Infant: Sydney Before Macquarie. Sydney: New South Wales University Press and the Sydney History Group.

Barry, John Arthur, 1902, ‘The city of Sydney: The story of its growth from its foundation to the present day’, in Sydney Old and New. Sydney: The New South Wales Bookstall Company. (Compilation of articles first published in the Town and Country Journal.)

Brassil, Tony and Barbara Le Maistre, 1989, Heritage Study of 19th and Early 20th Century Trading Wharves in Sydney Harbour. Sydney: National Trust of Australia (NSW).

Burford, Robert. 1829 (1978 facsimile edn), Description of A View of the Town of Sydney, New South Wales; the Harbour of Port Jackson, and Surrounding Country; Now Exhibiting in the Panorama-Leicester Square. North Sydney: Library of Australian History.

Cobley, John, 1962 (1987 edn), Sydney Cove 1788: In the Words of Australia’s First Settlers: The True Story of A Nation’s Birth, Sydney: Angus and Robertson.

Cobley, John, 1983, Sydney Cove 1793–1795: The Spread of Settlement, Vol. IV, Sydney: Angus and Robertson.

Collins, David, 1798 (1965 facsimile edn, Brian H. Fletcher ed.), An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales (With Remarks on the Dispositions, Customs, Manners, etc, of the Native Inhabitants of that Country, Vols. I and II. Sydney: A. H. and A. W. Reed with The Royal Australian Historical Society. (Originally published London: T. Cadell Jnr and W. Davies.

Evans, Susanna, 1983, Historic Sydney As Seen by Its Early Artists: The Founding of Australia. Sydney: Doubleday.

Field, Nicola and Chris Walker (feat. photog. Tim Georgeson), 2004, Walsh Bay: Harbourside Renaissance. Melbourne: Hardie Grant with Walsh Bay Partnership.

Fitzgerald, Shirley and Christopher Keating, 1991, Millers Point: The Urban Village. Sydney: Hale and Iremonger.

Gamble, Allan and Ngaire Souter, 1989, The Quay: Sketches of Sydney Cove and The Rocks. Roseville NSW: Craftsman House.

Garran, Andrew (ed.), 1888 (1974 edn), Australia: The First Hundred Years, Being a Facsimile of Volumes I and II of the Picturesque Atlas of Australia; Illustrated with Seven Hundred Engravings on Steel and Wood. Sydney: Ure Smith.

Garran, Andrew (ed.), 1886–1888, The Picturesque Atlas of Australia. Sydney: Picturesque Atlas Publishing Company.

Groom, B. and W. Wickman, 1982, Sydney: The 1850s: The Lost Collections. Sydney: University of Sydney Macleay Museum.

Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales, 2007, Sydney Views 1788–1888: From the Beat Knoblauch Collection (exhib. cat.). Sydney: Historic Houses Trust of NSW.

Hoskins, Ian, 2009, Sydney Harbour: A History. Sydney: UNSW Press.

Howard Tanner and Associates (consultants Max Kelly, Kate Blackmore, Paul Ashton), 1986, Millers Point . Housing Advice on Heritage Elements: Historical Survey. Sydney: Howard Tanner and Associates.

Johnson, Paul Alan, 1982, The Original Sydney: A Geometrical and Numerical Analysis of Phillip’s Plan. Sydney University of New South Wales (Faculty of Architecture).

Johnson, Wayne and Roger Parris, 2008, A History of Sydney’s Darling Harbour. Sydney: Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.

Karskens, Grace, 2009, The Colony: A History of Early Sydney. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.

Kelly, Max, 1977, A Certain Sydney 1900: A Photographic Introduction to a Hidden Sydney. Sydney: Doak Press.

Kelly, Max (ed.), 1979, Nineteenth Century Sydney: Essays in Urban History. Sydney: Sydney University Press and the Sydney History Group.

Kelly, Max (ed.), 1987, Sydney: City of Suburbs. Sydney: New South Wales University Press and the Sydney History Group.

Knaggs, Mary, 2011, Dawes Point Tar ra Conservation Management Plan. Sydney: NSW Public Works, Government Architects Office, for the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.

Lloyd, Joanne (Tropman and Tropman Architects), 2005, Towns Place: A History. Sydney: Walsh Bay Partnership (Mirvac and Transfield).

Lycett, Joseph, 1825, Views in Australia or New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land, Delineated in Fifty Views, with Descriptive Letter Press. London: J. Souter.

Mourot, Suzanne, 1969, This Was Sydney: A Pictorial History from 1788 to the Present Time. Sydney: Ure Smith.

National Library of Australia, 2000, The World Upside Down (Rex Nan Kivell Collection exhibition catalogue). Canberra: National Library of Australia.

New South Wales Government, 1909,  Report of the Royal Commission into the Improvements of Sydney and Its Suburbs. Sydney: NSW Government.

Park, Ruth and Cedric Emanuel, 1983, The Sydney We Love. Melbourne: Thomas Nelson Australia.

Shore, Harvey, 1981, From the Quay: A Pictorial History of Sydney Harbour from the 1820s to 1920. Sydney: New South Wales University Press and Obelisk Press.

Smith, Bernard, 1960, European Vision and the South Pacific, 1768–1850: A study in the history of art and ideas. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Smith, Sydney B. (illustrator) and Charles H. Bertie, 1911, Old Sydney. Sydney: Angus and Robertson.

Smyth, Terry, 2018, Napoleon’s Australia: The Incredible Story of Bonaparte’s Secret Plan to Invade Australia. Sydney: Ebury Press (Penguin).

Stanbury, Peter with Judy Birmingham (ed.), 1979, 100 Years of Sydney Life: A Guide to Archaeological Discovery. Sydney: Macleay Museum, University of Sydney.

Stevenson, P. R., 1967, The History and Description of Sydney Harbour. London: Angus and Robertson and Adelaide: Rigby.

Stevenson, P. R. and Brian Kennedy, 1980 (rev. edn), The History and Description of Sydney Harbour. Sydney: A. W. and A. H. Reed.

Thalis, Philip and Peter-John Cantrill (foreword Alex Tzannes, afterword Clover Moore, and other contribs.), 2013, Public Sydney: Drawing the City. Sydney: Historic Houses Trust of NSW and University of NSW (Faculty of the Built Environment).

Wilson, Canon, 1888, ‘Sydney: Its harbours and bays’, in the Illustrated Sydney News (10 serial articles).