Local Studies

The Local Studies collection at Ryde Library is a specialised reference collection that can help you research the history of the area and the people who have lived here.

The collection includes records related to:

  • The Municipality of Ryde, proclaimed 1870
  • The Municipality of Marsfield which was detached from Ryde Municipality and proclaimed a separate municipality in 1894. Its name was changed to the Municipality of Eastwood in 1907.

The Local Studies collection is a reference collection. Items cannot be borrowed.


Vertical Files

The vertical files are folders of miscellaneous documents and research on individuals, places, streets, houses, and subjects related to the City of Ryde area. The title of each folder has been included on the Library Catalogue.


The library has access to historic Australian newspapers and older editions of local community newspapers at the Ryde Library. For details of the newspapers availablesee theCollectionspage.

Sewerage Diagrams 

Sewerage diagrams illustrate the outline of buildings on their blocks and on occasion the name of the house. Sewerage diagrams for the early 1930s are held for parts of the Ryde Municipality.

Subdivision Plans 

Land subdivision plans were produced by real estate agents to publicise the sale of their subdivision. They show the position of individual blocks as well as prominent buildings or landmarks in existence at the time of the subdivision. They can indicate when an area was settled and an approximate date a building was constructed. However, the fact that a subdivision was planned does not mean it went ahead.

The Local Studies collection at Ryde Library holds a small number of original subdivision plans. They are A4 copies bound into 3 volumes. To ascertain whether we hold a subdivision plan of relevance, check the Library Catalogue. Each subdivision plan has been indexed by street name, building name or prominent feature as shown on the plan.

Land Valuation Records 

Valuations undertaken by the Department of Lands on behalf of the Valuer General, for rating and taxing purposes were made under the Valuation of Land Act 1916. Those held at the Ryde Library include:

  • 1924, 1939, 1944, 1947, 1951, 1957 for Ryde Municipality
  •  1941 for Eastwood Municipality

To view these valuations please make an appointment with the Local Studies Librarian.

Sands Directories 

Sands Directories were published between 1858/1859 - 1932/33 and is used for tracing both local and family history. They were published yearly (except 1860, 1862, 1872, 1874, 1878 and 1881). Major sections are:

  • alphabetical surname and given name index
  • a municipal section
  • trades and professions section.

They list occupiers of houses, not necessarily owners. 
The Municipality of Ryde was first listed in 1875. The Municipality of Marsfield was first listed in 1896. By 1909, it had changed its name to the Municipality of Eastwood. 
A complete set of Sands Directories is available on microfiche. 
The alphabetical surname and given name section is also searchable on Ancestry.com

Electoral Rolls

Ryde Library has a collection of 20th century electoral rolls for New South Wales 1903-1928, 1935, 1939, 1946, 1950, 1955, 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980 as well as print volumes for the 1970s - 2000s for electorates covering the local area.
New South Wales electoral rolls for 1930 - 1954 are also available onAncestry.com

Cemetery Records 

The Local Studies Collection has a collection of records related to cemeteries in the local area.

Church Registers

St Anne's Church registers are available on microfilm:

  • baptisms 1826 - 1942
  • marriages 1826 - 1953
  • burials 1826 - 1913.

St Charles Borromeo church registers are available on microfilm:

  • baptisms 1856 - 1909
  • marriages 1856 - 1955
  • burials 1856 - 1890, 1907 - 1971.

Please Note:

  • Street Names - The current name of a street is not necessarily the name by which it has always been known. Victoria Road, for example, has been known by many different names including the Great North Road, Gladesville Road, Glebe Street, Kissing Point Road and even Parramatta Road.
  • Rate Books - There are no surviving historical rate books for the Municipality of Ryde or the Municipality of Marsfield/Eastwood.

For further information on Local Studies please contact the City of Ryde Local Studies Librarian on 9952 8353 or email Ryde Library.