Council records

The Local History collection holds a variety of records (and/or copies) produced by the councils of Woollahra (1860- ), Vaucluse (1895-1948) and Paddington (1860-1948).

Note: some of these records have been digitised and are available in the Woollahra Libraries Digital Archive and new material is added regularly. For more information see Historic Council Records.

Major record series in the collection include:


  • Woollahra Council 1860 to 1980
  • Vaucluse Council 3 April 1900 to 1948 - the minutes for 1895 to March 1900 are missing
  • Paddington Council 1860 to 1948 - the minutes for 21 July 1914 to 6 April 1919 and 1934 to 1937 are held by the City of Sydney Archives

Minutes index

The Woollahra Libraries Digital Archive holds records which contain an 'index' of subjects and keywords to entries in the handwritten minutes of Woollahra Municipal Council covering the period 1860 to 1881.

Browse the Woollahra Council Handwritten Minutes Index 1860 - 1881 records

Rate and valuation books

The rate records compiled by Council were created to so that the appropriate amount of payment could be levied on a property and be sent to the person responsible for paying the rates. The rate books are arranged by year, ward and street address. The type of information found in the rate books varies between councils and over time, but generally includes such information as the name of the rate payer, a description of the property (eg land, flat, shop, house), address, subdivision and lot number, and the improved and unimproved capital value of the property.

Rate and valuation books are held for:

  • Woollahra Council 1860 to 1968
  • Vaucluse Council 1895 to 1948
  • Paddington Council 1860 to 1932 (copied from the City of Sydney Archives)

Building application registers

The building registers (and index cards) were created by Council and arranged by numeric order in year of receipt. The registers contain information about the date the application was submitted, name of the owner, name of the architect or builder, type of work to be carried out, estimated cost of the work, and the decision (and date) made by Council.

Building Registers are held for:

  • Woollahra Council 1912 to 1988
  • Vaucluse Council 1910 to 1948

Subdivision application plans

Applications to subdivide property were lodged with council by property owners for approval. Applications were noted on the relevant property on council block plans which are held at the Local History centre. These plans provide the application number needed to locate the plan in the subdivision files.

Subdivision plans are held for:

  • Woollahra Council 1913 to 1949
  • Vaucluse Council register of subdivisions only 1910-1948

Correspondence files

Files of correspondence (incomplete) to and from local residents are held for:

  • Woollahra Council late 19th century to 1912
  • Vaucluse Council late 19th century to 1948


Council kept scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings of articles and advertisements relating to council. Scrapbooks are held for:

  • Woollahra Council 1870s to 1985
  • Vaucluse Council 1938 to 1948