Library revamp Local History

Recently the Chatswood Library made changes to the Local Studies Collection. The Library is working to make the collections more relevant and accessible to the community. To summarise:

  • The Library has reviewed the collection and removed the many items that had no relation to Willoughby or North Shore e.g. those relating to country NSW. Duplicate materials were also removed. This has helped give greater focus to the collection and made it more relevant to our community.
  • The collection was moved into a more accessible location to encourage browsing and use. Please note that the collection extends to both sides of the door to the meeting room.
  • The microfilm/microfiche readers have been relocated to the desk in the new Local Studies area.
  • The microfilm/microfiche are in the microfilm cabinets near the readers, including the Rates and Valuation microfilm
  • The Library is undertaking a substantial cataloguing project and most of the collection is now findable via the Library catalogue – i.e., online, 24/7.
  • Valuable and rare items (e.g. Council reports, artefacts, newsletters) are accessible via a request to Local Studies
  • The Library purchased two new map cabinets to improve storage of maps and plans.
  • Research files are now located in the Local Studies office. This allows:

o   Improved organisation and preservation. The files have been chronologically organised under subject headings (now in the catalogue) in appropriate interfileable folders

o   Improved security of the files.

o   Research files are now accessed through an online request to local studies staff. Files can now be read at the Information Desk under supervision.

  • In addition, the Library has increased content on the History@Willoughby page – including Indexes to Roads and Streets, Mayors & Councillors, World War 1 service men and women and Historical digital displays

Future developments include:

  • Making copies of maps available in the new local studies area for public access
  • Increased number of displays
  • Digitised Rates and Valuation books and oral histories (audio files to complement our printed transcripts) to be available via our library catalogue.

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