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Council urged to guarantee future for Kings Cross heritage

Andrew Woodhouse, President of the Kings Cross Heritage Society, has called on the City of Sydney to guarantee the future of Kings Cross library’s heritage collection.

Network Manager of the library Jeffery Cruz said the library is not “planning on moving the collection” and it would remain “for the foreseeable future”.

A spokesperson for the City of Sydney said that in order to maintain a well-balanced collection of “current, appropriate and useful materials”, evaluation was undertaken to remove or replace materials which were no longer useful.

“This is a considered process in which each item in the collection is individually assessed to determine whether it remains in the collection.”

The spokesperson also said the local history collection was a “permanent fixture” at the library.

Mr Woodhouse said this response lacked certainty and that it was important the collection stayed at Kings Cross for ease of public access.

“This indicates to the community the future of this priceless collection is under a cloud. It may be even sold off or transferred to archives in Town Hall or stored off-site if it doesn’t qualify as high-usage material and no longer useful under council’s policy, whatever that policy is,” he said.

“We need a more transparent policy and more clarity and certainty.”

The library is currently undergoing a $1.2 million upgrade, which will see increased children’s collections and a dedicated area for children and parents.

If the collection was to be moved to Town Hall, Mr Woodhouse said the documents would be vulnerable to theft or damage and “make it impossible to ‘graze’ through the collection, a prime activity of historians”.

The archives at Town Hall house more than 15,000 shelf-metres of archival records, which include photographs. Council’s website states that “more material is added to this collection every year”.

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