Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection
The Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection is open to anyone with an interest in the history of house and garden design and interior furnishing in New South Wales.
The collection supports the Historic Houses Trust’s work of interpreting and managing places of cultural significance in New South Wales and provides a specialist research resource for scholars, heritage and conservation practitioners and museum professionals.
It includes material across a wide range of formats: architectural pattern books; architectural fragments; wall coverings; floor coverings; manufacturers’ trade catalogues and sample books; garden ornament; fittings (including curtain and blind hardware, door and window furniture); soft furnishings and trimmings; personal papers and manuscripts; pictures; photographs; books and periodicals. The scope of the collection is broad, covering houses and gardens of all kinds and ranging from the 19th century to the present day. We also record significant houses, interiors and gardens in situ, usually on the point of change, through photographic survey, and sometimes through oral history.
CATALOGUES & DATABASES
Books, periodicals, and other documentary material including photographs and personal papers can be found by searching the Library catalogue.
A number of trade catalogues related to house and garden design and interior furnishing have been digitized and can be accessed through the electronic record display link attached to relevant items in the library catalogue or via the Digital Trade Catalogues page.
Pictorial materials - paintings, drawings and photographs - including images from the collections of all Historic Houses Trust properties, can be found by searching the Pictures catalogue.
Our collections of wall coverings, floor coverings, garden ornaments and hardware can be searched through the Museum collections catalogue.
The Colonial plants database is a database of plants known to be available in the colony of New South Wales up until the 1860s. The database comprises more than 11,000 listings, compiled from Botanic Gardens records, nursery catalogues and manuscript plant lists created by colonists like Colonial Secretary Alexander Macleay (1767-1848).
Closed Mondays, weekends and public holidays.
Paintings, prints, textiles, wallpapers and other large format collection items can be viewed by appointment - our contact details are below.
The Mint, 10 Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000
T 02 8239 2233
F 02 8239 2433
|Lift access available to level 2