Front cover of 'Atlas of the Suburbs of Sydney', Part I 1886, Contributed by The Archaeology of Sydney Research Group Map Collection, the University of Sydney

We have a lot information in the Dictionary and each month we track our most popular entries and pages to see what people are looking for. This morning I thought I’d share with you the top 10 pages for June.

Interestingly, our number one page in June was not an entry, but rather an artefact:  The Atlas of the Suburbs of Sydney.

The Atlas is a group of maps produced in the late 19th centuray of the different municipalities and suburbs of Sydney. They were published at a time when there was a massive boom in realestate. The railways were heading out into the suburbs and people needed maps to understand where they wanted to buy. The maps are really beautiful; they are all coloured, you can see the town hall and all the streets and they are really popular with visitors to the Dictionary because you can see what has changed in your suburb.

Number two often features in our list. It is Pemulwuy who was the Aboriginal resistence leader. He is an important figure for the Aboriginal community because he is a resistence leader and his story celebrates people who fought back and challenged people taking away their country.

Number three – not an entry – is people browsing the contributor list for the State Library of New South Wales. We acknowledge all of our contributors, whether they write for the Dictionary or share images with us. The State Library is a big supporter and they have an amazing collection and it is great to be able to draw on their resources and curate them within the Dictionary.

Number four is Henry Parkes. Henry Parkes was Premier of NSW and Colonial Sectretary. The great mongoose story and Henry Parkes is one that we’ve covered before.

Number five is Woollarawarre Bennelong – another important figure in Aboriginal history in the early period of Sydney’s settlement.

Number six is an Aboriginal site but more contemporary – The Day of Mourning. The entry talks about the first protest that Aboriginal people held in 1938 against the celebrations of the establishment of the colony. 1938 marked 150 years of white settlement and the Aboriginal community held an alternative day of protest at the Australian Hall in Elizabeth Street. It is a really significant building and if you walked past it you might not realise how important it is – it’s on the State Heritage Register – and a really important part of Sydney’s, and Australia’s, history. Worth checking it out.

The Rocks comes next on the list. It is connected with Sydney’s early history and a lot of school assignments! The association of the Rocks with the Green Bans in the 1970s and the struggle to save some of that colonial heritage rather than have it all demolished means that it is often set for assignments on urban planning. It’s a great article by Grace Karskens who is really interested in Sydney’s early history and was involved in the big archaeological digs that happened there in the 1980s and 1990s.

Because of the artefact listing of Atlas of the Suburbs of Sydney, people are also accessing our entry on that.

And right near the end of the list is our entry on The Myth of Sydney’s Foundational Orgy which Nicole spoke about recently. It is interesting to look at the provenance of historiography and how we tell our history and our stories. The article highlights the role of foundational stories in our understanding of ourselves as Sydneysiders and people.

And a bit of hedonism to end the list but this time it is true – Kings Cross! A lot of people visit there and it has a lot of exciting contemporary history connected with bohemianism, bars and clubs.

In case you want to make sure you’ve read all our top 10 entries for June, here’s the full list:

  1. artefact listing for the Atlas of the Suburbs of Sydney
  2. entry on Pemulwuy by Keith Vincent Smith
  3. browsing the contributor list for the State Library of NSW
  4. Henry Parkes entry by Lucy Hughes Turnbull
  5. Bennelong Woollarawarre entry by Keith Vincent Smith
  6. Day of Mourning 1938 entry
  7. The Rocks entry by Grace Karskens
  8. the entry on the Atlas of the Suburbs of Sydney
  9. the Myth of Sydney’s Foundational Orgy by Grace Karskens
  10. Kings Cross entry by Mark Dunn.

To listen to this morning’s podcast, click here. You can hear more Sydney history next week on 2SER breakfast with Mitch Byatt. 107.3 FM – turn the radio on at 8:15 and listen to a few tunes while you wait for the segment.

 

 

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