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7 events you can’t miss this History Week

From quirky Aldermen to laser cut jewellery and tales from Darlinghurst, find fun events on this History Week.

It’s every history buff’s favourite time of year! The annual festival is back and this year’s theme is Hands On History.

Here’s our top events for 2022.

Archival records at the City of Sydney, 1996 (City Archives A-00028312)

Moustaches, money and mayhem

Learn about the people who have represented Sydney’s residents on the council.

Around 500 men and women have served as aldermen or councillors on the City of Sydney Council since it was formed in 1842. Hundreds more served on the surrounding suburban councils that were absorbed into the City of Sydney local government area in the 20th century, including Redfern, Glebe and Newtown.

You'll find a department store founder, a Japanese prisoner-of-war survivor, and even a Kings Cross waxworks manager among them.

Wednesday 24 August 1pm to 2pm. Book now for this free event.

Hands-on portraiture at Sydney Town Hall

Hands-on portraiture at Sydney Town Hall

Join the City of Sydney’s assistant curator Rebecca Anderson to learn about the mayoral portraits on show at Sydney Town Hall. Rebecca will discuss the history of the works and the artists who created them in a 30-minute tour.

Then get hands on in a beginner’s portrait drawing workshop held in the historic Treasury Room led by professional artists from Pine Street Creative Art Centre.

Monday 5 September from 10:15am to 12:30pm. Book now.

Makerspace at Darling Square (Photo by Abril Felman/City of Sydney)

Laser cut jewellery from the archives

At the Darling Square makerspace, this workshop is a great introduction to both laser-cut jewellery making and the City of Sydney Archives.

You’ll be guided to personalise a range of fun jewellery templates using images from the City’s Archives. Once you’re happy with your final design, it'll be laser cut or etched it for you. You’ll receive your design during the class and can add the hooks, clasps or cords to make it wearable.

8 September 10:30am to 1:30pm. Book now.

Canadian Dining Rooms on George Street West (City Archives A-00040865)

Developing Sydney: capturing change 1900-1920

Peer into the lives of Sydneysiders in during the profound transformation of the City in the first 2 decades of the 20th century.

The City Building Surveyor’s Condemnation and Demolition Books is a key photographic collection held in the City Archives with almost 5,000 photographs and associated glass plate negatives.

Free exhibition on every day at Customs House until Sunday 2 October.

Aldermen of Sydney

Adopt an alderman

Learn about the key elements of biography, important source material and resources, and how to summarise a person's entire life. You’ll trace the life of one of Sydney’s aldermen throughout the workshop.

This online event is presented on Zoom. It will be Auslan interpreted.

Wednesday 7 September 1pm to 2pm. Book now for this free event.

Crown Street Women's Hospital (City of Sydney Archives A-00028713)

Hands-on history in the city archives

This talk from the City of Sydney Archives will help you discover over one million resources about the Sydney local government area, and the stories within them.

Start with a beginner’s guide to navigating and searching the archives and history resources catalogue.

Friday 9 September from 1pm to 2pm. Book now for this free event.

Makerspace at Darling Square (Photo by Abril Felman/City of Sydney)

Laser cut printmaking from the archives

Use images from the City of Sydney Archives to create a laser-cut printing plate and print your image on our press.

You’ll be guided on how to access historical images to make a laser-cut etching plate. Once you’re happy with your final design, we’ll help you print it on our small press. You’ll receive your etching and print during the class or by mail after the class.

Thursday 15 September from 10:30am to 1:30pm. Book now.

Tram in Taylor Square (City of Sydney Archives A-00058115)

Bonus: Stretch your legs and explore Darlinghurst with our new ‘Serenade’ walk

Darlinghurst is on Gadigal Land. The suburb, wedged between Oxford and William streets, is a maze of lanes and alleys, steep streets and connecting stairways.

Download the Culture Walks app for free.

Want more?

Find more history events at What’s On.