The Dictionary of Sydney uses an open-source platform called Heurist for encoding and presenting historical information about Sydney online. Content is structured around subjects, using controlled vocabularies and entities. Information relating to each entity appears in context with maps and timelines.

All the text and metadata in the Dictionary is encoded in extensible markup language (XML) using text encoding initiative (TEI) standards. Text is tagged structurally, to identify sections, paragraphs and sentences and semantically, to identify links to related information.


The material that appears on this website has been aggregated and curated on the Heurist platform developed by Arts eResearch (formerly Archaeological Computing Lab) at the University of Sydney.


The design and build of the main Dictionary website was undertaken jointly by Arts eResearch and StudioEmotion design. The blog pages of this site were designed by Michelle Catteril and built using WordPress with a template by Divi.


While the content appearing in the Dictionary of Sydney has been licensed from others, the model into which these items are placed is original work of the Dictionary of Sydney. This includes creating the ontological structures, set of historical relationships, subject thesaurus, and other elements within the website. The Dictionary of Sydney has created a unique model and asserts copyright in it. For further inquiries regarding this model, please contact the Dictionary.

Text and multimedia

For information on copyright relating to text and multimedia in the Dictionary, click here.

Detail from MS Hill's 1888 map 'The City of Sydney',  a birds-eye view over the city looking to the south and west across Darling Harbour.

Major sponsors                                                                      Community partnerships

Share This