Illness & disease

On This Day

27 Jan 1919 - Influenza pandemic reached NSW

On 27 January 1919, the NSW Government announced the first confirmed case of pneumonic influenza, the 'Spanish Flu', in NSW


Archives behind the scenes - bubonic plague

Did you know there was an outbreak of plague, in Sydney, at The Rocks, in 1900?

Bubonic plague index 1900-1908

The Register of Cases of Bubonic Plague 1900-1908 records the names and residences of those suffering from the plague and their fate as to whether they died or recovered from this fearful disease

A group of men stand behind a pile of dead rats

Bubonic plague register

An introduction to the Bubonic plague pandemic and records related to the Sydney outbreak in 1900–1908

Hand-coloured image of branch of tree with leaves, lemon and flowers.

Convicts and scorbutus at the General ‘Rum’ Hospital

Convicts who were lucky enough to survive the transportation voyage, often arrived at Sydney Cove suffering infectious disease or other illness, and were admitted directly to the colony’s General 'Rum' Hospital

Convict Sydney

Cupping glasses & scarificator

These cupping glasses are of the type that was used in the treatment of convict patients at the General ‘Rum’ Hospital

Painting of street scene showing row of cottages on sandstone base above the street with timber steps to their front doors. Women sit on the front steps and goats meander the street.

Painting the Rocks: the loss of Old Sydney

In 1902 an exhibition of pictures of Old Sydney featured scenes of The Rocks and Millers Point painted before parts of them were demolished in the name of public health and morality, and changed forever

Pneumonic influenza (Spanish Flu), 1919

The pandemic threw the people and Government of the State into a community effort rivalled only by that of the recent war