The City of Sydney’s Archives & History Resources catalogue, based on Recollect, has recently received recognition for effective collection management and user-centered design.

The City of Sydney’s Archival collections are notable for holding a vast amount of historically significant content dating back to 1842, when the Municipal Council of Sydney was established.

Currently holding more than 1 million items – the archives catalogue includes historical documents, photographs, maps, plans, data, and an impressive array of crafted resources to aid researchers, schools and interested parties in finding the specific information they seek, alongside encouraging exploration and serendipitous discovery. Both the design choices of the City of Sydney team and tools provided by the Recollect platform have crafted a positive image of the future of digital collection management and community engagement.

The City of Sydney Archives and History Resources Recollect site has a strong focus on positive user experience, efficient large-scale content management, and enabling and encouraging community engagement. This has resulted in the platform receiving an Australian Society of Archivists’ Mander Jones Award in Category 3, and being a finalist in the 2021 World Smart City Awards for its user-centered design approach.


Australian Society of Archivists – Mander Jones Award Winner, Category 3

Best finding aid to an archival collection held by an Australian institution or about Australia

“Catalogues are the major tool for the public to access archives. The various City of Sydney catalogues have been systematically redesigned into one catalogue, with the users’ experience central to design decision. It is an excellent example of how the next generation of archival catalogues could work.

From the main catalogue search engine, relevant material is easy to find for the casual user, but with full contextual information clearly provided for the more sophisticated user. The home page is visually appealing with key functions and areas of interest highlighted.”


World Smart City Awards 2021 – Finalist

User-centered design for access to digital Archives and History

“The City transformed the management and access to over 1 million archives and history resources, rationalising thirteen outdated systems into a single innovative user-centred digital solution that has been embraced by its communities.”

The City Archivist for the City of Sydney said she is “delighted with our new catalogue. It has transformed access to the City’s considerable collection of archival resources. Use of the collection has dramatically increased and the multiple pathways mean that users are easily able to self serve.”


Recollect is immensely proud of the part it has played in enabling the City of Sydney to deliver an outstanding solution to their community. CEO, Gavin Mitchell, says “We congratulate the team at City of Sydney archives for their vision and execution to deliver open access to the city archives. Our team have enjoyed working with their team to create a fantastic experience for the end user.”


About Recollect

Recollect is a Wellington, New Zealand, based company that supplies a comprehensive cloud-based software as a service solution that ensures collections are easily accessible and with a unique focus on discovery tools that help inspire community engagement and storytelling to more than 80 organisations around the world.