For the last two months I have been working on a project to index and re-box a large collection of rate notices from the Parramatta, Granville and Dundas areas. The oldest document dated from 1892 and belonged to the Municipality of Dundas, the most recent were created in 1968. Over the entire period we moved around 320,000 individual documents into archival storage boxes folded to house these documents safely and to keep them in good condition.

The documents recovered from the Dundas ‘town hall’ were among some of the earliest and these had been safely stored in the archive for many years before being being processed.

Most people are probably not aware of just how useful rate notices can be for researchers interested in family history, or in the history of properties in the Parramatta and surrounding areas. Each document lists the name of the person who owned the property in the area, their own home address as well as the where the property was located.  Many properties documented in the earlier rate cards also had the names given to them by the owner on the card, alongside the more common street names and numbers. My personal favourite was a house called “Lilydale”.

This project has radically improved the accessibility to these documents for researchers as the boxes have been clearly labelled with their contents and can now be easily moved around. personally I found working on this project very satisfying and hope my work will be beneficial for researchers in the years to come.


by-saby Grace Williams, Research Assistant, Parramatta City Council Heritage and Visitor  Centre, 2015