Books and Documents

Book at Brighton Historical SocietyOur book collection is catalogued to the Victorian Local History Database.

We have many reference titles available for research purposes including; A limited number of Sands and MacDougall’s directories Copies of The History of Brighton by Weston Bate Dendy and his Emigrants by L A Schumer A Portrait of J. B. Were and his family by Clive Were

We also have quirky and interesting items such as a receipt book kept by the local night cart man, illuminated addresses given to Tommy Bent and his wife, an original petition to the Brighton Council to have an electric railway run along New Street to Brighton Beach and a Brighton Council receipt book of fines for wandering cattle.

Other books of note are a collection of the published works of Adam Lindsay Gordon and many interesting novels awarded early last century to school children as prizes from local schools. Most of these schools are no longer in existence.

Another feature of our collection is books written by local authors. Some books are current such as the trilogy penned by internationally acclaimed fantasy writer Cecilia Dart Thornton, but many writers like Zofia Kruk who wrote The Taste of Fear about her Polish childhood in Germany 1939–1946, have long gone and their books are hard to come by.

If you are a local author and have published a book recently, we would love a copy to add to our collection.


The Brighton Historical Society holds a large collection of maps, aerial maps, MMBW plans and subdivision plans that are historically important and yield a vast amount of information about the development of Brighton and the surrounding area.

Our subdivision plans date from the land boom of the 1880s until 1971. Our earliest map of Brighton is dated 1876 and is wonderful to look at.

Some of our maps have been digitised and we can print off sections as required.

Our maps are catalogued and available for you to study.