Archive mini documentary tells the story of 135 years educating young women

How do we maintain and celebrate the 135 years of history at our College? We use our Archive!

The definition of an archive is a “collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people.” You may think of an archive as a place for the past, but really it is a place for the future. Our archivist is trained in conserving our precious and sentimental items to be able to share the PLC Sydney story for centuries to come.

Shubra Tower. The College moved to its present site in Croydon in 1891. The main buildings were Shubra Hall (attributed to architect Albert Bond), built by Anthony Hordern III (of the department store family) in 1869, and a new structure erected in 1890 housing classrooms, dormitories, a dining room and an assembly hall.

The PLC Sydney Archive was established in 1976. It holds student records, school publications, College Council minutes and records, photographs, memorabilia, school uniforms, architectural plans, oral histories, and recollections. As well as recording and storing authentic documentation of the College’s activities, the Archives aims to preserve the memories of school life and activities.

The Archives also maintains non-current records, memorabilia and artefacts in a stable secure environment and takes care to prevent their loss or damage. The Archivist prepares displays for the College and ex-student reunions; circulates stories about the College, its history and its staff and students; makes presentations to class groups; and responds to requests for family history or other historical matters.

Ella Bates, PLC Sydney Archivist.

Our previous archivist, Debby Cramer, maintained our history for over 20 years. This year, Ella Bates, took over this special role.

Ella currently works across both PLC Sydney and Barker College. Her recent experience working in the Australian Museum Archive and her History Research Degree makes her extremely well suited to the role, having been trained in archival practices, including digitisation of archival assets, data management, historical record conservation, archival research, and museum displays. With responsibility for handing all the College’s archival material, Ella's contribution is significant with her keen attention to detail and well honed research skills.

This year, as part of the 135th anniversary celebrations the archivist produced a mini documentary, highlighting eight archival items that help tell the story of PLC Sydney. The oldest item is from 1888, the establishing year of the College, and the newest is from 2005. The students explain the items and place them into PLC Sydney’s historical context. This is just a small snapshot into some of the incredible items the PLC Sydney Archive holds. It is the PLC Sydney community that makes all this possible.

We thank the PLC Sydney community for their generous donations to the Archive, allowing us to preserve our shared history.

To donate your items, please contact:
Ella Bates, PLC Sydney Archivist
E: or
T: +61297045748.