Local History

Local History

The Local Studies Collection is found in the Research Room of Penrith Library, 601 High Street Penrith.   Opening hours are Monday to Sunday 2pm - 5pm (or by appointment).

Local Studies Collection at Penrith City Library

The Local Studies collection houses material on the local area (within the boundaries of Penrith City, including limited material covering neighbouring areas). The collection houses books, reports/environmental studies, magazines, newspaper clippings, maps and plans, land records, council rate and valuation records, photographs, manuscripts, personal and family papers, and oral histories.

The Library's Research Services team manages the specialist collections held in the Research Room of the Library. They assist researchers with enquiries relating to the history and development of the City of Penrith, its people and places.

Research Services staff provide assistance either in the Research Room or through personal inquiries by calling 4732 7899 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Records in the Research Room can be accessed through the Library catalogue. An "All Resources" search will search for all material in the room. If an item is held in the Local Collection, the shelf code will be followed by 'Local ....'.

Copying service

A self-serve photocopier is available in the room during opening hours. Copying restrictions may apply to some Local Studies items - please check with staff on duty in the room if uncertain. The use of a digital camera is permissible.

History of Penrith

Our local studies collection documents the historical development of the City of Penrith. All material is available for use in the Research Room. The collection comprises published and unpublished contemporary and historical research material.

More local historical information is available on the penrithhistory.com website.

Family History

Our family history resources include biographical, genealogical, cemetery, and local government information on local families and pioneers. We actively collect publications and files, and records on local families.

Local government information

The Technical Library is a collection of support material for Council staff and can be accessed by the general public in the Research Room. This collection reflects the functions of a local government authority with substantial material on environmental, planning and social issues on the local area.

Please see also the 150 Years of Penrith City Council page for more information about Penrith City Council’s history.

History Support Collection

Our collection of support material includes published historical reports and histories. It also houses the Francis James Collection, which contains a wide range of materials relating to the Vietnam War. The collection, purchased in 1993, complements the Library's extensive collection on Southeast Asia history. 

Photographic Collection

Our collection captures life in the local area from the mid-19th century to the present day. View over 4000 of our photographs and postcards via our catalogue (with a link to the Archives search). Photographic reproductions are available to purchase. We can provide digital copies of photographs. Our Research Services team can provide digital copies of photographs in our collection.
Charges: $20 per photograph plus $7 to purchase a USB if required. To place an order please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..