The den at Bali Hai, Palm Beach (detail). Photograph © Andrew Frolows, Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums

Recorded for the future: documenting NSW homes

How do we better understand the history of the homes we live in?

The Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection (CSL&RC) answers this question both by collecting historic materials connected to the home and also by commissioning photographic recordings of present-day houses and gardens in New South Wales.

The CSL&RC has photographically recorded homes since 1989. These recordings were often made at a point of change in the life of a house – for example, when it was about to be renovated or sold, sometimes after a long period of single family ownership. Some of the houses we have recorded were designed by well-known architects, others are simple suburban homes that represent a particular period or style and often just part of the house or even only one room or space has been photographed.

Many of the original recordings were done in the pre-digital age and a selection has subsequently been digitised. All of the photographs together with supporting documentation and research are held in the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection.

The den at Bali Hai, Palm Beach

Bali Hai

Palm Beach NSW

View of Bancroft, William Edward Street, Longueville, New South Wales


Longueville NSW

Detail of window in dining room, Bellevue Road house, Bellevue Hill NSW

Bellevue Road house

Bellevue Hill NSW

A view of Betty Maloney's garden, Frenchs Forest NSW

Betty Maloney’s garden

Frenchs Forest NSW

The living room at Bouddi Farm, Killcare Heights NSW

Bouddi Farm

Killcare Heights NSW

Living room, Breffni, Warrawee NSW


Warrawee NSW

Buhrich House II

Buhrich House II

Castlecrag NSW

Cheong House, The Parapet, Castlecrag NSW

Cheong House

Castlecrag NSW

Coppins, Pymble NSW


Pymble NSW

Living room, Edward Street house, Woollahra NSW

Edward Street house

Woollahra NSW

View of front of house at Ellesmere Avenue, Hunters Hill

Ellesmere Avenue house

Hunters Hill NSW

The entrance vestibule at Esslemont, Cremorne NSW


Cremorne NSW

The kitchen at Europambela, Walcha, NSW


Walcha NSW

Fintry, Bellevue Hill


Bellevue Hill NSW

Fishwick House, The Citadel, Castlecrag NSW

Fishwick House

Castlecrag NSW

Fogl House, East Lindfield NSW

Fogl House

East Lindfield NSW

Fountains, the former home of Alfred and Jocelyn Brown, Killara, New South Wales


Killara NSW

Detail of the bathroom at Gordon Crescent Denistone

Gordon Crescent house

Denistone NSW

GSDA No 1, Castlecrag NSW

GSDA Dwelling No.1

Castlecrag NSW

Gunz house, Pymble NSW

Gunz house

Pymble NSW

Hillman House, Roseville

Hillman House

Roseville NSW

The Jack House, Wahroonga, NSW

Jack house

Wahroonga NSW

Leadlight at 'Jamisonia', Fairlight NSW


Fairlight NSW

Gazing globe in the garden at Kelburn, Goulburn NSW


near Goulburn NSW

Kentigern, Hunters Hill


Hunters Hill NSW

The main bedroom at Kurkulla, Bowral NSW


Bowral NSW

Kitchen in fibro house, Ermington

Lesley Harwin's house

Ermington NSW

Designer Leslie Walford's master bedroom in his penthouse apartment, Double Bay

Leslie Walford’s penthouse

Princeton, Double Bay NSW

The Lucas House, The Bulwark, Castlecrag NSW

Lucas House

Castlecrag NSW

Mainsbridge House, Hunters Hill NSW

Mainsbridge House

Hunters Hill NSW

Marara, Careel Bay, Pittwater


Careel Bay, Pittwater NSW

Living room, Darnley Hall apartment, Elizabeth Bay NSW

Margot Keep’s apartment

Darnley Hall, Elizabeth Bay NSW

McKay House, Wahroonga NSW

McKay House

Wahroonga NSW

Military Road house, Dover Heights

Military Road house

Dover Heights NSW

Palmer House, Turramurra NSW

Palmer House

Turramurra NSW

South-western elevation of house at Commonwealth Avenue Mosman

Prefabricated houses

Georges Heights NSW

Front elevation at Sefton Hall, Mount Wilson NSW

Sefton Hall

Mount Wilson NSW

The Abbey, Annandale NSW

The Abbey

Annandale NSW

The Chalet, Yerton Avenue, Hunters Hill

The Chalet

Hunters Hill NSW

The Thorne House, St Ives NSW

Thorne House

St Ives NSW

Toxteth Lodge

Toxteth Lodge

Glebe NSW

Tulkiyan, Gordon NSW


Gordon NSW

Detail from the dado in the entrance hall of house Valetta, 89 Crystal Street Petersham, showing painted decoration of a pair of mythical creatures (similar to griffins/gryphons).


Petersham NSW

Entrance hallway at Wallalong, near Hinton NSW


Hinton NSW

Woodhall, Boronia Park NSW


Boronia Park NSW

Wylde Street, Potts Point - the penthouse apartment

Wylde Street apartment

Potts Point NSW