Since it first launched in 2009, over 1.5 million words have been published on the Dictionary of Sydney including over 1000 entries, 4,500 multimedia items, 13,000 entities and 39,000 factoids. With a free mobile app, resources for schools linked to the national history curriculum and regular local radio spots on Sydney’s history, our audience continues to grow.

New partnership

From June 2016, the Dictionary of Sydney entered into a new partnership with the State Library New South Wales. With assistance from our long-time supporter, the City of Sydney, the Dictionary was migrated on to a new platform at the library. The library will preserve and maintain the Dictionary, ensuring that we can all enjoy it for many more years to come.

You can read the City of Sydney’s media release here: ‘Past and future of Sydney’s history secured.’


The City of Sydney generously provided cash and in-kind support to help transfer the Dictionary’s website to the State Library of NSW.  After December 2016 the City will no longer fund the organisation on an annual basis.

With no ongoing funding, publication of new content on the Dictionary of Sydney will cease when current funds have all been used. Management of the Dictionary of Sydney will be transferred to the State Library of NSW after September 2018.

If you would like to donate to the State Library of NSW Foundation, you can do so via their website here.


In July 2017 the Dictionary’s content was successfully migrated on to the new, more sustainable Drupal platform and publishing recommenced.

The website remained accessible throughout the technical project, and our regular radio segments, social media and blogposts, and newsletters have continued throughout. You can subscribe here.

Due to the reduction in staff hours, a consequence of less funding, publishing will take place at a slower rate, and cease when funding runs out. The State Library of NSW will preserve the website and its content to make sure it remains available.


In addition to the technical project, the agreement with the State Library for the transition of the Dictionary allows for one part-time Dictionary of Sydney position, to be responsible for maintaining and updating the Dictionary, which will be based at the State Library. This position will be funded by the DoS Inc while funds allow and will work in conjunction with an advisory committee that includes the Mitchell Librarian.

For all media enquiries, please email

Pic: Traffic flowing smoothly on the Sydney Harbour Bridge after two new lanes were opened, July 1959. Credit: National Archives of Australia (A1200, L32700)

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.

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