• Catalina Flying Boat in shallow water off Bayview c1950. Courtesy of Isobel Bennett

The Local History Collections cover many aspects of life on the Northern Beaches, including indigenous and social history, the built and natural environment and contemporary issues. Each of our Local History Collections are managed by dedicated staff who collect, conserve and promote the collections as well as undertake research projects.

Local History Research

The staff at Manly, Dee Why and Mona Vale are available to help you with your local history research.

Bookings are made by appointment, so call to book a time with them to discuss your needs.


We welcome donations that relate directly to the history of our local area. Our collections are enriched by the addition of records of individuals, families, businesses and community groups who have lived or worked in the local area. Contact the local history staff to discuss.


The Local History Collections cover the history of most aspects of the Northern Beaches and include a very wide selection of material.
Collaroy Beach 1970s. Courtesy Dee Why Library Local Studies

Image Search

Take a look into the Northern Beaches’ past with our extensive collection of photographs, maps, subdivisions and documents.