Such local history, when contextualised, enriches elements of national or state history. Sometimes it helps to rewrite the historical narrative. – Pauline Curby and Virginia Macleod, ‘RAHS Library Significance Assessment’ (2014) p. 31

About the Collection

The RAHS has over 390 affiliated societies across NSW and beyond. The Affiliated Societies Serials collection consists of journals, newsletters, bulletins, leaflets, magazines and annual reports that are unique to each society. The RAHS Library has well over 500 different Affiliated Society serials dating back to the mid-1930s and is considered the state repository for this collection. Though the library has collected these serials for the last 95 years, the change from hard copies to e-copies in 2013 has made the collection far more accessible.

Affiliated Societies shelves at the RAHS Library.

Affiliated Societies Serials shelves at the RAHS Library.

The spike in interest in local and family histories in the 1960s-70s was and still is reflected in each series that the societies produce. The focus on community life and connection with the past is especially significant, as the collection’s documentation of local history research and activities is unprecedented and rarely found in larger collecting institutions. The collection features many images, interest stories, and histories of NSW communities. Most publications in the library are printed, photocopied, or online. Sizes vary and some are hard copies bound by the RAHS.

This unique repository of local history can be accessed by contacting the librarian. You can also download a spreadsheet with all the latest library holdings in this unique collection.