This collection contains a small selection of archives relating to Oxford Street.
Oxford Street started as an Aboriginal bush track (‘muru’) that crossed east along the ridgeline and aound the bays to the southern headland of the harbour. Convicts cleared this track in 1803 to allow access to the signal station at South Head. It was known as South Head Road.
The thoroughfare was upgraded for wheeled vehicles in 1811. In 1875, the section of South Head Road between Hyde Park and Paddington was renamed Oxford Street.
The Oxford Street tramline was introduced in 1880 and ran to Moore Park and Randwick Racecourse. A second line to Bondi Junction was introduced in 1881.
By the late 1880s, Oxford Street was one of Sydney’s most prominent high streets, being a centre for shopping.
Overcrowding and overuse was a real issue for the thoroughfare. From 1907, works began to widen Oxford Street. A new civic space was created on the intersection named Taylor Square.
By World War I Oxford Street had morphed into a boulevard joining the City to the East. The area was constantly evolving.
Trams along Oxford Street ceased on 25 February 1961.
From the 1960s LGBTIQA+ bars, clubs, restaurants, saunas and shops appeared, giving the strip the name ‘The Golden Mile.’
The first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras took place on 24 June 1978. Since the early 1980s the Mardi Gras parade was moved to autumn. Thousands of spectators line Oxford Street to see the parade.
To find even more items relating to Oxford Street try the search tool.
The Leather fetish group, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, Oxford Street Darlinghurst, 2014
Letter - C. Morrison complaint regarding house refuse not collected, Oxford Street Darlinghurst, 1898