Local Studies

Shoalhaven Libraries' Local Heritage Collection provides a valuable source of information on the history and development of the Shoalhaven. The Local Heritage Collection is open to visitors Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4.30 pm. You can come to Nowra Library to visit, telephone (02) 4429 3713 or email if you require any further information.

Our Local Heritage collection includes an extensive range of books, images, maps and local newspapers and is an invaluable resource for:

  • University and TAFE students
  • School students
  • Business people
  • Family historians
  • Historical researchers
  • Local community groups

Due to the valuable nature of the heritage material kept in the Local Heritage Library the main collection is only available at Nowra Library. Our trained and experienced staff are available to assist you with your enquiries, but are unable to conduct prolonged or ongoing research. Photocopies can be made of most materials.

Rate Books

As of December 1st 2017 all Shoalhaven District Rate Books will be located at the NSW State Archives.

After careful consideration this decision has been reached in order to ensure the preservation of these valuable historical documents, the Shoalhaven District Rate books will be joining a growing collection at NSW State Archives, which holds rate books and other related documents from 43 local government areas. They are more than happy to assist with any enquiries and records can be pre-ordered online for viewing. You can contact them on (02) 8805 5325 or email grrfile@records.nsw.gov.au.

The addition of these records to the State archives collection is a means of ensuring the records can be better preserved in appropriate, secure and climate controlled conditions. It also means the records will be available to the whole community for current and future research. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact the Local Heritage Librarian on (02) 4429 3713.

Current Projects

Restoration of heritage flood boat "Shoalhaven"

The Shoalhaven City Council manages the 1889 built flood boat 'Shoalhaven';. It is listed on the Australian Register of Historic Vessels and has strong significance for the Shoalhaven district. Currently in storage, the flood boat will be put back on display at the Nowra Aquatic Centre following conservation work and the building of a new encasement with interpretive signage. The Vessel Conservation Plan will guide this work and any subsequent maintenance.


Donations of both historical and contemporary material relating to the Shoalhaven are always welcome. If you would like more information about donating to this collection please contact the Library.

Back issues of newspapers

Nowra Library holds back issues of many local newspapers both in print form and on microfiche. We also have the Local Newspaper Index where you can search online for articles that we hold.

Our Favourite Local Heritage Links 

The Pioneer Village Museum Kangaroo Valley Logo The Pioneer Village Museum at Kangaroo Valley has talking history and visual displays as well as a dairy, forge, school house, settler’s cottage, war remembrance room and much more.
Shoalhaven in the 20th Century Facebook Shoalhaven in the 20th Century on Facebook
The Berry Historic Museum Logo

The Berry Historic Museum is a great place for those interested in local history, with an extensive collection of artefacts, memorabilia, photographs and records donated by the local community.

The Museum documents the history of the area's agricultural, dairying and timber industries.

Greenwell Point Info Greenwell Point Info.com - information on Greenwell Point village.  
Shoalhaven Historical Society Logo

Shoalhaven Historical Society is housed in Nowra Museum, the former Nowra Lock-Up and Residence Police Station (built 1901).
The Museum's Collection boasts a number of rare artefacts from Indigenous and European settlement of the Shoalhaven area, a large photographic collection and early watercolours from artist Samuel Elyard.

Tomerong Local History Logo Tomerong Local History
Jervis Bay Maritime Museum Logo Jervis Bay Maritime MuseumThe Jervis Bay Maritime Museum features a world renowned collection of maritime artefacts and navigational and surveying instruments.  The Museum exhibits a range of nautical equipment, models, photographs, paintings, drawings and objects relating to the history and heritage of the Jervis Bay area.
Ulladulla Info Logo Ulladulla Info 



Do you have old images of the Shoalhaven?

We would love to scan them and add them to our Local Heritage Images Collection. Contact our Local Heritage Librarian Derrilin to find out how you can be a part of this exciting project. View the collection and take a fascinating journey into the Shoalhaven's past.

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