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Decorating the city

It’s getting very festive around the city as Christmas approaches so today we thought we’d look at one of the city’s biggest Christmas traditions! Listen to Nicole and Tess on 2SER here  The trappings of the northern hemisphere’s white...

Ocean baths

Ocean baths are abundant in Sydney and along the New South Wales coast, reflecting our love of the ocean and, perhaps, an ambivalence towards the surf. These man-made pools filled with ocean water grew in popularity in the late 19th century and to this day offer...

Whaling in Sydney

Over the weekend we heard that more than 140 whales had died after becoming stranded on a New Zealand beach. It’s a sad story and reminded us that whaling was for many years one of Sydney’s (and Australia’s) main industries, so today we thought we’d...

Grab your partners for the Balmain Polka

November is AusMusic Month and so today I thought we should look back at some early Australian popular music and one of the early music composers in Sydney. Graeme Skinner at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music has been researching the history of music in colonial...

Remembrance Day: 100 years on

Last Sunday, 11 November, marked 100 years since the official end of World War I. Initially called Armistice Day, it became known as Remembrance Day after the end of World War II. An article in the Dictionary by Dr Neil Radford has described what that day was like...

A day at the races

Lisa and Tess are both back this week on 2SER Breakfast and given yesterday’s sporting news from Melbourne, they thought they’d have a look at Sydney’s first racecourse and the surprising way it continues to influence horseracing in New South Wales...

The Sprite of the Creek

It’s Halloween, so in keeping with the season, today we’re sharing a very Sydney ghost story. Join Dictionary of Sydney special guest Dr Rachel Franks and host Jess Klajman around the 2SER breakfast camp fire and settle in…  Listen to the audio of...

Posters, ghost signs and billboards

Australia has certainly had its share of memorable advertising, with this week’s use of the Sydney Opera House as a ‘billboard’ without a doubt one of the most controversial. This week we thought we’d have a very quick look at history of outdoor...

The Mitchell Library’s new galleries

It’s a VERY exciting week to be an historian in Sydney this week with the opening of the new galleries and a learning centre in the historic Mitchell Library wing of the State Library of New South Wales, so today I thought we’d take a look back at the...

Murder most foul: the Sussex Street Mystery

This week on 2SER Breakfast, the Dictionary’s special guest Dr Catie Gilchrist talked to Tess about one of the stories she’s come across during her work as a Fellow at the State Library of New South Wales into colonial coroner’s inquests. The Sussex...

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