• 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. 


History Hub is your online source for Northern Beaches Library's Local studies collection. Here you can discover past and present stories of the Northern Beaches, its people and local environment. 

You will need to visit the library to access some of our resources. Please book an appointment before coming in so that one of our staff can assist you. You can either email or call to book a time.

Our local collections include:

  • 50,000 photographs
  • Books and journals
  • Maps, plans and subdivision plans
  • Manly Daily on microfilm from 1955 to present
  • Manly Daily hard copy from 1959 (Manly Library only)
  • Oral histories
  • Clippings and ephemera
  • Sands Sydney Directory
  • Community group archives
  • Council archives:
    • Minute books former Manly Council 1877 to 1960
    • Minute books former Warringah Council 1906-1996
    • Rate assessment books former Warringah Council 1905-1929
    • Electoral rolls
    • Council reports and conservation plans.

Our Local Studies team also have a collection of books available for purchase at Manly, Dee Why and Mona Vale Library. See titles available for purchase here.

Local history research

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

Women in local government

Celebrating women in local government - See the Mayors and Deputy Mayors who blazed a path for women in local government.