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They had no Shelf Control: book thieves in colonial Sydney

They had no Shelf Control: book thieves in colonial Sydney

For as long as we have had books, books have had value. Intellectual value, sentimental value and, of course, cash value. Sydneysiders have had access to books since the arrival of the First Fleet. These items were, of course, scarce and, although some books were...

Sydney’s smallpox epidemic in 1881

Sydney’s smallpox epidemic in 1881

As we stare down the barrel of an unknown pandemic, we remember that the city has seen quite a few epidemics in its time. Prior to the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1919,  an outbreak of smallpox took hold of the city and its imagination. [button...

An Old Swamp in the City

An Old Swamp in the City

The new decade began in Australia with an apocalyptic vision of drought, fire and flood, but it’s always a bit of shock to Sydney when natural disasters sneak up on the inner city too. Last week as flood waters in Marrickville submerged cars, factories, studios,...

Here’s one for all the (library) lovers out there

Here’s one for all the (library) lovers out there

This coming Friday is Library Lovers Day, so today on 2SER Breakfast Dr Mark Dunn and host Alex James talked about three book-related historical sites in the city which have had a lasting impact on Sydney's shape and culture. [button...

The Santas of Sydney’s Christmas Past

The Santas of Sydney’s Christmas Past

Some of us still have the photos taken of us crying, having a tantrum or terrified while perched on the knee of the strange Santa at the shopping mall, his nylon beard glistening under neon lights. But what about those other Santa-like figures of Sydney’s Christmas...

Sound the alarm! Shark nets at Coogee

Sound the alarm! Shark nets at Coogee

It's summer, and for many of us, that means swimming in the sea. There has been a long tradition in Sydney of enclosing ocean bathing areas a nets to protect bathers from sharks, but the consequences of decisions about shark nets that were made in the 1920s and 1930s...

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