Local History Room


History Corner

Selections of Burnside history - people, events, and moments to be celebrated.

History Corner

Collection Highlights

Collection Highlights: A selection of the treasures and resources held in council archives.

Our History

The Burnside council area has a rich history dating back to 1839. General information relating to the local history can be found on the Burnside website. Here are some useful links:

Our History

Further information can be researched in the Local History Room at the Burnside Library. Staff are available to assist with personal and curriculum based research. 

Frequently Asked Questions

“I’m looking for information about a specific house in the Burnside area.”

  • You can search the 1987 Heritage Survey, index found here or in hard copy in the library. Survey is organised by street name. More in depth chapters located here
  • You can visit the library and search the microfiche catalogue of Burnside Council Rate Assessments from 1855-1991. It is located in the Local History Room.
    • Early rate assessments are in secretary hand – they can be difficult to read.
    • Records are grouped by location, and can take time to read through.
  • Visit in person, and browse our card index.
    • Tip: search by street, and by suburb.
  • Submit a research request here.

“I’d like to find out about my ancestors who lived in Burnside.”

  • We have microfiche copies of the South Australian Almanacs and Directories from 1839-1900. The Almanacs and Directories list people by surname and describe their occupation and suburb of residence. They can be limited – usually only the male head of the household was listed.
  • You can visit the library and search the microfiche catalogue of Burnside Council Rate Assessments from 1855-1991. It is located in the Local History Room.
    • Early rate assessments are in secretary hand – they can take time to read and decipher.
    • Records are grouped by location, and can take time to read through.
  • We hold indexes of South Australian Births 1842-1928, Deaths 1842-1972 and Marriages 1842-1937. Further years are not published anywhere for privacy reasons. Original district registration certificates are held by Genealogy SA, who provide research services online and in person at their library.
  • Biography information collected by the Burnside Historical Society is available for public view. The best way to search is to come into the library and dive in!
  • An index of our suburb, house and people folders is available here: Index of Historical Collection(PDF, 475KB)

 “I’d like to research a company or business that existed in Burnside.”

  • We have an extensive collection of local newspapers from 1930. Local businesses often advertised in classifieds and larger ads.
  • Individual businesses and industry may be listed in our suburb files – note this is an index only, each folder contains more information best viewed in person.
  • Trove is a powerful search engine for records held at libraries and institutions around Australia. It’s a great way to find records of commerce – for example, licence applications published in government gazettes.

“I’d like to donate some records or items to the Burnside Local History Collection.”

  • Please fill out the contact form for the History and Cultural Officer here. We will make an appointment to discuss your donation further.
  • We are unable to accept items that have not been discussed with the History and Cultural Officer.

“I’ve found a talk on the Burnside Historical Society’s website, and would like to listen to it.”

  • Recordings of the Burnside Historical Society talks and oral histories are gradually being converted to CD or mp3 format. Some are on cassette tape. You can find out which format the talk is in here.
  • We encourage you to bring your own device and headphones to listen. We have a tape player available on request.
  • Please talk to staff at the desk to be supplied with the recording. Copies may not be made without permission of the History and Cultural Officer, and recordings are not for loan.


Burnside Historical Society

The Burnside Historical Society Inc. is a community group comprising people with an interest in Burnside's history. The Society was established in 1980 and has a membership of around 150 people. New members are welcome.

Burnside Historical Society meetings are held in the Burnside Community Centre, corner Portrush Road and Fisher Street, Tusmore (car park and entrance off Fisher Street) at 7.30 pm on the third Monday of the month.

Each month a guest speaker presents a talk on some aspect of Burnside's or South Australia's history, and from time to time outings to areas of historical interest are arranged for members. Admission to the meeting is free, including supper. Visitors are most welcome.

Next meeting 

Monday 18 February, Coralie Soward Hall, Burnside Community Centre.

"Drawn from life: an insight into Sir Hans Heysen's early life", presented by Denise Schumann OAM.

All welcome. No charge. Refreshments provided.


The Burnside Historical Society produces a quarterly newsletter containing Society news and notices, summaries of meetings and articles of historical interest. The latest and previous newsletters can be found in the Local History Room or on the website here.  

For more information on the Burnside Historical Society, visit the Burnside Historical Society website and Facebook page.

Local History Reading and Resource List

Built Heritage

South Australian Heritage Places Database: Burnside

Property Location Browser - A free map-based interface which can be used to search addresses and to view details of land administration boundaries. It also provides the certificate of title and valuation reference numbers.

The Architecture Museum at University of South Australia Collection - The Architecture Museum holds more than 200,000 items, including approximately 20,000 drawings and a 2,000-volume library. The holdings relate to the work of private practitioners.

Researching House History: State Records of South Australia

Department for Environment and Water Heritage Surveys


Family History

Births Deaths and Marriages Fact Sheet

Family History Fact Sheet – State Records South Australia

Trove by the National Library of Australia

Beginning Family History Research Fact Sheet- National Archives of Australia

South Australian postal directories and almanacs


Burnside History

Index of Historical Collection(PDF, 475KB)

Index of Historic and Memorial Plaques in Burnside(PDF, 204KB) - full register viewable in Local History Room

Warburton, E. The Paddocks Beneath, 1981.  -  Copy in Library Local History Room, and available for purchase.

Crompton, B. Burnside Then and Now: A Celebration of 140 Years of the City of Burnside – Copy in Library Local History Room, and available for purchase.

Warburton, E. Speaking of the Past: Voice of South Australia. Selection of primary source material about life in the city of Burnside. - Copy in Library Local History Room, and available for purchase.

Burnside Historic Walking Trails

Harris, C. Burnside: towards an environmental history. -  Copy in Library Local History Room.

Burnside Historical Society – Searchable index of past newsletters and talks.

Burnside Street Names and Their Origins

Getting the Most Out of Your Visit 

  • Be prepared to be a detective - information is often in a wide variety of categories.
  • Have a look online first - knowing dates, street names, full names can be helpful.
  • Think about what sort of questions you'd like to answer.
  • Bring a notebook and pen, or laptop.
  • Photography welcome.