Search our collections through our suite of online catalogues, databases and collection guides: print material and manuscripts through our Library Catalogue; photographs, drawings and paintings through our Pictures Catalogue; wall coverings, floor coverings, garden ornament and hardware through our Collections Catalogue. Explore our collection of digitised Trade Catalogues, search the Colonial Plants Database and study our guides to special collections.
Search the Library Catalogue for printed books, periodicals and other documentary material, including reports relating to Sydney Living Museums’ properties as well as pictures, manuscripts and personal papers.
Search the Pictures Catalogue for paintings, drawings and photographs from the collections of all Sydney Living Museums’ properties, including the forensic photography archive at the Justice & Police Museum.
Four material formats can currently be searched through the Collections Catalogue: Floor coverings including carpets, felt, matting, oilcloth, linoleum, felt base and vinyl; Garden Ornament including fountains, urns, planters, sundials and edging tiles; Hardware, also known as builders hardware or ironmongery, including door knobs and knockers, locks, fingerplates and escutcheons; Wall coverings including wallpaper in various formats such as sample books, rolls and fragments. The items in the catalogue come primarily from the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection with a selection of items from the house museums within the portfolio of Sydney Living Museums.
Colonial plants database
The Colonial Plants Database includes more than 11,000 listings of plants known to be available in the colony of NSW prior to the 1870s. The database is compiled from several sources, including Botanic Gardens records, nursery catalogues and manuscript plant lists created by early colonists such as colonial secretary Alexander Macleay.
Digital trade catalogues
A number of trade catalogues related to architectural ironwork, architectural papier-mâche, art metalwork, furniture and furnishings, hardware, household goods, joinery, lighting, linoleum, stained glass, terracotta, tiles and wallpaper have been digitised and can be accessed via our Digital Trade Catalogues page on Internet Archive.
Alan Spearman Evans Collection
Alan Spearman Evans (1902-1963) was a Sydney-based amateur photographer who spent much of his life recording his houses, gardens and workplaces as well as those of his family and friends. Many of the houses photographed by Evans have survived and a number have been heritage listed. The collection includes over 2000 photographic images taken by Evans between 1924 and 1957.
Marion Hall Best Collection
Marion Hall Best was one of Australia's most important and influential 20th-century interior designers. She was an outstanding figure in the dissemination of the ideas of international modernism in relation to interiors in Australia. The Marion Hall Best collection includes papers, plans, photographs, wallpapers, fabrics and other furnishings related to her career.