The Collection

In 2011 the RAHS received a donation of six albums containing over 320 photographs from the early 1920s – late 1930s. Primarily photographs of the City of Sydney, Lyle and Jennie Osborne from Narellan Vale had stored the images for over twenty years in their family home before donating them to the RAHS. The Osbornes recognised the historical value of the collection even though they did not know the identity of this avid photographer. The mystery photographer had both an eye for capturing people and places and also a way with words, as he or she often assigned poetic names to these images.

The Society wishes to share this wonderful collection. The photographs are now fully digitised, indexed and available online thanks to a generous grant from the City of Sydney.

The Project

In addition to the digitisation and indexing of the Osborne Collection images, the City of Sydney grant has enabled the RAHS to devote a section of its website to the project Exploring City of Sydney Life Between the Wars: RAHS Osborne Photograph Collection (c.1920 – c.1939). These webpages not only provide access to the images on the RAHS Image Library but also to the RAHS’ Flickr Commons and Historypin channels, which have both proven to be effective methods for sharing the images with the broader community. The project also contains a number of written resources from the RAHS Library Collection, which are presented by location, as the collection itself contains many images taken in specific areas of Sydney.

Explore the Project