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Oral History Collections

History is not simply found in books and photographs; oral history allows us to put a voice to the very real people that are part of the community we live and work in. Liverpool City Library is very proud to have its own oral history collections bringing to life the stories of people who have lived in the Liverpool LGA, now available through our archives catalogue.

Read through the sections below to find out more about these collections and their significance to our community.

Liverpool City Council Oral History Project tapes

Liverpool City Library Heritage Collections.  Photo (c) Silversalt Photography.

Warning: First Nations people are advised that this collection may contain the names and images of deceased Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Military camp at Ingleburn, November 1939

Photo: Military camp at Ingleburn, November 1939. Sam Hood Photographic Collection, State Library of New South Wales.

Listen to the history of the former Ingleburn Army Defence Site located in Edmondson Park from the perspective of former soldiers. Explore the social impact of urbanisation in Edmondson Park, which continues to rapidly grow into a new residential and business centre.

Edmondson Park South oral history project was published in 2013. It was written, researched and compiled by Frank Heimans and Carol McKirdy for Urban Growth NSW.

Publications, Sound Recordings, and Transcripts

Edmondson Park South oral history project (2013) by Frank Heimans and Carol McKirdy for Urban Growth NSW.
https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=262218

Farewell to Badgerys Creek

Liverpool City Library Heritage Collections.  Photo (c) Silversalt Photography.

Residents recall life in an idyllic rural community ahead of the impending construction of Western Sydney Airport. The Badgerys Creek Oral History Project, also known as A Little Bit Country, was produced by Liverpool City Library and Museum Services staff with residents and former residents of Badgerys Creek. Documentation, photography, interviews and publications were produced and collected between 1994-1996.

Publications

A little bit country : an oral history of Badgerys Creek (1996) by Beverley Donald and Bill Gulson.
https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/BIBENQ?SETLVL=&BRN=73114

Photographs

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=242887

Sound Recordings

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=640949

Transcripts

Not available.

Bruna Trimarchi and members of her family, February 1959

Bruna Trimarchi and members of her family, February 1959. Gift of Bruna Trimarchi. Liverpool City Library Heritage Collection (HL000989).

Explore the history of Italians and Italian immigrants in southwest Sydney. These interviews were collected for the exhibition, Forza e Coraggio, meaning strength and courage, by curator Sally Gray, Angela Finocchiaro and Vicki Movizio. They visited homes and farms, interviewing Italian families, workers, business people and politicians. The exhibition was displayed at Fairfield Heritage Centre in 1996 and Liverpool Regional Museum from 1996-1997.

Sound Recordings

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=643343

Exhibition Archive

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=211611

Transcripts

Not available.

Aero Club, Hargrave Park, 1938

Aero Club, Hargrave Park, 1938. Liverpool City Library Heritage Collection (HL002972/1).

Hargrave Park is now subsumed in the suburb of Warwick Farm. These oral histories explore the history of Hargrave Park from the period of European settlement through to the twentieth century. Speakers recount tales of the short-lived Hargrave Air Park, the US Army base, the Golden Hind Royal Naval depot, the emergency housing settlement set up in the aftermath of World War II and the early 2000s.

These oral histories formed a significant part of the research material for Beverley Donald’s book, Hargrave Park? Never Heard of It, published in 2007. Donald was the Local Studies Librarian at Liverpool City Library.

Publications

Hargrave Park? never heard of it : the story of a forgotten suburb (2007) by Beverly Donald.
https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/BIBENQ?SETLVL=&BRN=74738

Project Documentation

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=649351

Sound Recordings

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=649361

Transcripts

Not available.

Horseracing at Warwick Farm, circa 1960s

Horseracing at Warwick Farm, circa 1960s. Liverpool City Library Heritage Collection (HL002854).

Warwick Farm has been an important site for sport and leisure since the 1880s. It has functioned as a horse racing track, motor sports hub and military base. This collection of 12 oral histories give insight into the suburb of Warwick Farm and its importance in shaping the history and community of Liverpool. The oral histories reveal broader patterns of boom-and-bust economic cycles and changing Australian cultural interests.

Publication

Horsepower: The History of Warwick Farm (2005) by Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre  
https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/BIBENQ?SETLVL=&BRN=225034

Sound Recordings and Transcripts

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=644525

The Council of the Municipality of Liverpool, 1926-1928

The Council of the Municipality of Liverpool, 1926-1928. Photograph by Crown Studios Sydney. Image courtesy of the Liverpool and District Historical Society Inc.

Conducted and recorded by Local Studies Librarian Beverely Donald, this oral history collections contains interviews with people who worked for Liverpool City Council, or were descendants of those who did. The interviews formed part of Donald’s research for her book, 'Leading Liverpool: Alderman and Councillors through the years', published in 2010 by Liverpool City Council.

Publication

Leading Liverpool: Alderman and Councillors through the years (2010) by Beverley Donald
https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/BIBENQ?SETLVL=&BRN=256219

Sound recordings

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=647095

Transcripts

Not available

Liverpool City Library Heritage Collections.  Photo (c) Silversalt Photography.

Liverpool City Library Heritage Collections.  Photo (c) Silversalt Photography.

Miscellaneous collection of audio cassette tapes collected by Liverpool City Library's local studies staff from the period of about 1970 to 2005. Sound recordings relate to the Liverpool area, Liverpool City Council, arts and culture in Liverpool, the history of Liverpool, oral histories of people who have lived in Liverpool and music performed in Liverpool or by locals. Sound recording creators include 2UE Radio News, 2WS FM 101.7, ABC Radio, Artist Kick/ John Laffin, BBC Radio Merseyside, Christopher Keating, City Extra Radio, Liverpool and District Historical Society Inc., Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Family History Society, Radio 2 GLF (89.3FM), Radio 2BL, Radio 2GB, Song Zu (Zu Productions), St. Therese Music Group Sadleir-Miller (AMCOS), Trip Tape Production Pty Ltd, William Kennedy, unknown creators and others not listed here.

Sound Recordings

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=625751

Transcripts

Not available.

Warning: First Nations people are advised that this collection may contain the names and images of deceased Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Looking back at Liverpool: An oral history

Recollections of life in Liverpool from 1900 to 1960. Hear the unique Australian and immigrant voices of locals as they explore themes of settling in Liverpool, the Great War, school days, work and entertainment. Includes the memories of Aboriginal peoples and Italian migrants.

Publications

Looking back at Liverpool : an oral history of the Liverpool region 1900-1960 (1986), edited by Catherine Johnson.
https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/BIBENQ?SETLVL=&BRN=145341

Photographs

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=311285

Sound Recordings

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=623299

Transcripts

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/BIBENQ?SETLVL=&BRN=25453

The Amalfi family in their market garden picking runner beans, circa 1950s

The Amalfi family in their market garden picking runner beans, circa 1950s. Gift of the Amalfi family. Liverpool City Library Heritage Collections (HL000707-02/8).

Explore family histories and personal narratives of immigration. Liverpool locals describe where they were born, where their family was from, their knowledge of their family history, the occupations of their parents and why they came to live in Australia. Interviewees describe how life in Australia compares to life in the ‘old country.’

Sound Recordings and Transcripts

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=643316

Data processing staff working at Standard Telephones and Cables (S.T.C.), Moorebank,1968

Data processing staff working at Standard Telephones and Cables (S.T.C.), Moorebank in 1968. Gift of Kathleen Smith. Liverpool City Library Hertiage Collection (HL002224).

Compiled by the Moorebank Women Writers Group, residents from Moorebank, Chipping Norton, Hammondville and Holsworthy record unique family histories across several decades, describing the impact of military settlements, social housing schemes and a simpler suburban life. Captured on crackling cassette tape recorders the women recall the joys and tribulations of suburban and domestic life, describing Liverpool’s rivers, floods, Depression years, poultry farming settlements, bygone leisure facilities, social housing schemes, idyllic countryside scenes and their favourite recipes.

Publications

The heart of a place : stories from the Moorebank Women's Oral History Project : covering the suburbs of Moorebank, Chipping Norton, Hammondville and Holsworthy in the Liverpool City Council area (1992), compiled by Moorebank Women Writer's Group and edited by Barbara Brooks and Colleen Burke
https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/BIBENQ?SETLVL=&BRN=139704

Sound Recordings

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=620926

Transcripts

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=620920

St. Luke's and the Parsonage, Liverpool, N.S.W, from, Views of Sydney and Surrounding District by Edward Mason

Illustration: St. Luke's and the Parsonage, Liverpool, N.S.W, from, Views of Sydney and Surrounding District by Edward Mason. State Library of New South Wales Collection.

Interviews and radio recordings produced by Christopher Keating. Keating interviewed significant historians and community figures on Liverpool’s past and present as research material for his book, 'On the Frontier: A Social History of Liverpool', published in 1996. 'On the Frontier' argues that for much of its history, Liverpool acted as a frontier, a divider between the bush and the city. For this reason, Liverpool’s history provides a revealing local study of many of the major developments in Australian history more broadly.

Publications

On the Frontier: A Social History of Liverpool (1994) by Christopher Keating
https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/BIBENQ?SETLVL=&BRN=31189

Sound Recordings

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=649533

Transcripts

Not available.

Liverpool City Library Heritage Collections.  Photo (c) Silversalt Photography.

Liverpool City Library Heritage Collections.  Photo (c) Silversalt Photography.

Rex Cleugh Black oral history interview by Robyn Jessiman for the Liverpool & District Family History  and Liverpool Library Competition, 1997. Interview recorded on 25 January 1996. Rex Black moved to Liverpool in 1948. He was a teacher at Liverpool Junior Technical High School. Black discusses his family life in Liverpool in the 1950s.

Sound Recordings and Transcripts

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=646057

Liverpool City Library Heritage Collections.  Photo (c) Silversalt Photography.

Liverpool City Library Heritage Collections.  Photo (c) Silversalt Photography.

Rose Sullivan was born on 24 March 1907 in Mortdale. She was the wife of Tommy Pethybridge, the mechanic who died with Australian aviation pioneer Kingsford Smith in the infamous plane crash into the Andaman Sea, off the coast of Burma, in November 1935. Rose describes her early life, her first marriage to Pethybridge in 1928, Pethybridge's experience in the Air Force and their work with Charles Kingsford Smith (or Smithy). She describes going on airplane rides and being greeted by huge crowds of 30,000 to 40,000 people. She describes herself as Liverpool's first air hostess. Rose later married Con Sullivan in 1937 and moved to Liverpool in 1962.

Sound Recordings and Transcripts

https://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/ARCENQ?SETLVL=&RNI=646204