Blog post from Thursday, 2 July, 2015


The State Library of New South Wales holds thousands of suburban and town subdivision plans. These are mostly real estate agents’ advertisements or surveyors’ sketches created between the 1880s and 1930s as large estates were broken up and sold. Many of them are beautiful pictorial records of the subdivision. They were often pasted onto telegraph poles and placed in shop fronts to entice people to the auction. Some are annotated with sales prices and block sizes. They are a great source for local and family historians, heritage consultants and those interested in the history of their house.

This lovely 1918 example for the Royal Park subdivsion lots at Chatswood and Roseville includes a drawing of a villa a buyer might imagine for themselves. For more information on our digitization program for other plans in our collections see our research guide here.