Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney is a digital humanities project to produce an online, expert-written encyclopedia of all aspects of the history of Sydney.


The Dictionary is a partnership between the City of Sydney, the University of Sydney, the State Library of New South Wales, the State Records Authority of New South Wales, and the University of Technology Sydney. It began in 2007 with Australian Research Council funding and launched on 5 November 2009.[1]

Geographically, the Dictionary of Sydney includes the whole Sydney basin and chronologically spans the years from the earliest human habitation to the present. It also invites historical contributions from disciplines such as archaeology, sociology, literary studies, historical geography and cultural studies.[2]

Heurist, developed by the University of Sydney is the underlying technology for the project. The Dictionary of Sydney won an Energy Australia National Trust Heritage Award for Interpretation and Presentation in April 2010.[3]


Contributions are sourced from dozens of academics, writers and researchers. Notable contributors include Keith Vincent Smith, with 15 entries, including entries on Bennelong and Pemulwuy.


  1. 'Dictionary of Sydney goes live', University of Sydney E-news, 25 February 2010
  2. Michael Duffy, 'City's history on speed dial: images to give dictionary new meaning', Sydney Morning Herald, 21 March 2008, page 31 https://search.proquest.com/docview/364399795
  3. 2010 National Trust Heritage Awards Winners
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