Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums

The Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection is open to anyone with an interest in the history of house and garden design and interior furnishing in New South Wales. The collection supports the Historic Houses Trust’s work of interpreting and managing places of cultural significance in New South Wales and provides a specialist research resource for scholars, heritage and conservation practitioners and museum professionals.

The Caroline Simpson & Research Collection


The collection includes material across a wide range of formats: architectural pattern books; architectural fragments; wall coverings; floor coverings; manufacturers’ trade catalogues and sample books; garden ornament; fittings (including curtain and blind hardware, door and window furniture); soft furnishings and trimmings; personal papers and manuscripts; pictures; photographs; books and periodicals. The scope of the collection is broad, covering houses and gardens of all kinds and ranging from the 19th century to the present day. We also record significant houses, interiors and gardens in situ, usually on the point of change, through photographic survey, and sometimes through oral history.