History at Willoughby

Picture Willoughby

Picture Willoughby is an extensive collection of mostly black and white photos of the local area. The images date from the 1890s to the present day and each is presented with a description and explanatory historical note.

Victoria Av 1920s Victoria Av 1938 Victoria Av 1950s


pdf format Form - Donation and Use of Photographs by Willoughby City Library

If you have photographs of the Willoughby area - people, places, houses, parks, occasions etc - the Local Studies team at the library would love to have them to add to their collection of over 8,000 photos of past and present Willoughby. If you are able to date the photographs and add a caption, even better. If you do not wish to donate the photos, the Library can copy them and return them to you. Contact the Local Studies team on 9777 7900.

Willoughby Walks button

Willoughby Walks

Willoughby Walks is a free downloadable app offering a range of self-guided walking tours that explore our rich and varied history. 

Download the free app today and start exploring your city. The first instalment of Willoughby Walks is: 

  • Chatswood CBD Heritage Plaque Walk. 


There are a number of printed Heritage Walks which focus on architecture and historical places, as well as bushwalks.

For any enquiries please phone the Local Studies section on 9777 7900 or email library@willoughby.nsw.gov.au.

Your House

The Library holds most Willoughby Council Valuation and Rate books from 1872 to 1984. These can help you find out when your house was built, if it had a name, and who used to live there.

More information can be found in the  House Trace Brochure. Download the  House Trace Form. Research is available on request (costs apply).

Your Family

We have a selection of shipping lists, convict lists, pioneer registers, births, deaths and marriages indices, electoral rolls, early telephone directories, census records, Sands directories and cemetery transcripts which can be used for family history research. See our online family and local history resources, or read     Family & Local History Indexes, Directories, Newspapers at Chatswood Library.

Ancestry Logo  Visit Willoughby City Library to search Ancestry.com for your family history in Australia, the UK, Ireland, the US and other countries.

Ancestry.com is available at all branches except the Castlecrag Community Library.

 A one-hour tutorial on Family History is available by appointment at Chatswood Library.

Gore Hill Memorial Cemetery

Willoughby City Library is the repository for the Gore Hill cemetery archives. For information about Gore Hill Cemetery and to access online records.

Willoughby City Facts

Access a number of fact sheets on the history of Willoughby City. Topics include the suburbs of Willoughby, Aboriginal History, Climate and Geography, Mayor of Willoughby.

Willoughby Civil Heritage Plaques

The first of the Civic Heritage Commemorative Plaques was unveiled at the Civic Centre on 22 November 2003. Since then many more plaques have been installed around the city in order to commemorate the heritage of Willoughby. More details on the Heritage Plaques.

Your Council

Most of the minutes of Willoughby Council from the first Council Meeting in 1865 onwards are held at the Library. Current minutes are available under Agendas and Minutes. A selection of publications and miscellaneous reports issued by Council are held in the archives. 

Walter Burley Griffin

Chatswood Library holds a great deal of information about Walter Burley Griffin, who was responsible for naming and planning Castlecrag. There are books, photos, maps and plans of the Castlecrag subdivision as well as material on the Griffin Incinerator. See also the Walter Burley Griffin Society website; Walter Burley Griffin's Fishwickhouse website