Posted by & filed under Inner West Independent.

Quite a few people know that AC/DC got their start in Newtown, originally meeting and rehearsing there in the early 1970s. Fewer people, however, are aware that former alderman and Newtown Mayor, Lilian Fowler, was the first female mayor in Australia. Or, indeed, that Newtown itself is said to be named after John Webster’s early 1800s ‘New Town’ store, now the site of the Zanzibar Hotel…

If all this is news to you, don’t worry. These points, plus plenty of other gems of Newtown history, can be found on the ‘Newtown Project’ website – an online archival and historical resource, developed by volunteers and archivists, as an initiative of the City of Sydney Archives. Aiming to preserve and make available the historical memory and identity of the suburb, it features family history resources, records of Newtown Municipal Council, biographies and plenty more information besides.

Visitors can track changes to the suburb over the years, by examining historical maps and photos, tracing ancestors in the area, reading stories about early Newtown life, and contributing to the collective memory of Newtown by submitting their own family biographies, photos or essays to the site. The archive is housed online, at www.sydneyarchives.info