Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts writer-in-residence

The Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts (SMSA) is a member-based association incorporated under the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts Incorporation Act 1886. It is the oldest School of Arts in Australia.

The Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts provided $75,000 over four years to fund a part-time research and writing position at the Dictionary of Sydney. The program launched in 2009 to support an historian to research and write histories of Sydney connected to the SMSA. The program has now finished. We thank the SMSA for their support, and invite other organisations to consider similar programs to uncover the histories of their areas of interest and expertise, and make them available to Sydney and the world.

Catherine Freyne was the first SMSA writer in residence (2009 – 2010) and Mark Dunn was the second SMSA writer in residence (2010 – 2012). All the articles made possible by the project can be seen on the SMSA’s supporter page.

Sydney School of Arts 1868-81, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales (a1939065 / PXA 420, 29b)


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.