The period between 1945 and 1960 was the great era of do-it-yourself housing construction in Australia.

A shortfall in housing supply, exacerbated by the demobilisation of World War II servicemen and women and an increase in immigration, meant that building your own home was the only solution for many people. By 1952, it was estimated that half of the new houses in NSW were being built by their owners.

To help people to build their own homes, architectural plans were widely distributed. They were published in magazines and newspapers and issued as booklets by department stores and the architectural profession. Manufacturers of building materials and ‘ready-cut’ (prefabricated) houses published their own plans.

Shortages of materials and high building costs affected the size and type of houses built after World War II. The average home constructed during the 1950s had just five rooms and by 1955, of all the new houses built, 20% were brick, 30% were timber and 50% were made of fibro, the cheapest material of the period.

Follow the signs to The Mint Reception from the front entrance of The Mint, and you will find the Library entrance nearby.

Please note that the Library's opening hours are 10am-4pm, Tuesday to Friday.


11 March 2014 - 1 July 2014