Reference Enquiries

The University Reference Archivists assist researchers who visit the Archives with guides and advice. We provide a limited reference enquiry service to people who cannot visit in person, replying by email, letter or phone-call. For more information about the archival holdings, click here for guides to student records, administrative records, personal archives, or records of affiliated clubs and societies.

Access to the University’s records is governed by the NSW State Records Act 1998. Restricted access conditions may apply to some records, especially in the personal archives collections. Records less than thirty years old are generally not available to public access. Researchers are asked to complete the Conditions of Access to the Archives form when they visit the Archives.

If your inquiry is likely to require detailed research and you are not able to use the Archives in person, you should engage a research agent to conduct the research on your behalf. Lists of researchers are available from the Professional Historians Association of NSW and the Society of Australian Genealogists.

Practical classes in Physiology taking place in Physics Lab 1, c.1960s

For a list of other archives and collecting institutions associated with the University, including the Colleges, please click here to download.

For information on the history of the University and, people associated with it please click here

The website of the University's Senate also provides interesting information and articles on the University's history.

Many research enquiries are easily answered using published sources of information. Useful sources of reading include:

Australia's First. A History of the University of Sydney, Vol 1, 1850-1939 by C Turney, U Bygott & P Chippendale (Sydney, 1991) and, Vol 2 1940-1999 by WF Connell, GE Sherington, BH Fletcher, C Turney & U Bygott (Sydney, 1995).

Australia's First. A Pictorial History of the University of Sydney, 1850-1990 by K Cable, C Turney & U Bygott (Sydney)

The University of Sydney, 1850-1972 by GL Fischer (The University of Sydney, 1975)

Stained Glass and Stone.The Gothic Buildings of the University of Sydney by Bertha McKenzie (The University of Sydney, 1989)

Pioneer Women Graduates of the University of Sydney by U Bygott & KJ Cable (The University of Sydney, 1985)

University of Sydney Architecture by Trevor Howells (The Watermark Press, 2007)