Skip to City of Adelaide content
All our online payment systems will be unavailable Thursday, 13th December, from 7:45pm to 8:15pm. Please try again after this time.
Call (08) 8203 7203

History Festival

{alt_text}

Presented by the History Trust of South Australia, this event is all about South Australia's history! It is one of South Australia's largest community events and promotes the State's wonderful collections, places and stories.

The History Festival began in 2004 as SA History Week and has grown each year, becoming a month-long festival in 2011. Each May South Australians explore history through hundreds of events which range from talks to tours; walks to workshops; exhibitions to special events.

City of Adelaide has been one of the major sponsors/supporters of the History Festival since its inception and also provides free events for the public.

 

{widget:page-reveal theme="light" group="Group 1"}

{widget:page-reveal theme="light" group="Group 4"}

{widget:page-reveal theme="light" group="Group 5"}

{widget:page-reveal theme="light" group="Group 6"}

{widget:page-reveal theme="light" group="Group 7"}

{widget:page-reveal theme="light" group="Group 8"}

{widget:page-reveal theme="light" group="Group 2"}

 

More Information

For more information about the History Festival or to access the full list of events, please see the History Trust of South Australia's South Australia's History Festival page.

2019 Program Event Highlights

Heritage Incentives Scheme: Celebrating 30 Years of Success

Fri 10 & 24 & Tue 14 & 28 May 10am

120 mins

City of Adelaide Customer Centre

Book now

Sit back and relax as we take you on an exciting tour of North Adelaide to see some of the most successful, interesting and complex conservation projects funded during the 30 years of the City of Adelaide's Heritage Incentives Scheme. Places are limited!

 

A Q&A: Forgotten Founders of the State of South Australia

Tue 7 May, 11am

45-60 mins

Adelaide Town Hall, Queen Adelaide Room

Book now

Join a panel of enthusiasts including Mr Glen Woodward (historian), Mrs Genevieve Theseira-Haese (former City of Adelaide Lady Mayoress), Mr Douglas Potts (retired president of the Victoria League) and Dr Jeff Nicholas (author of *Behind the Streets of Adelaide*), as they reintroduce the audience to James Hurtle Fisher, Colonel Robert Torrens, Robert Gouger, Edward Gibbon Wakefield and George Grote.

 

Aboriginal Cultural and Political History in Adelaide

Tue 28 May, 10am

120 mins

Reconciliation Plaza, Tarntanyangga

Book now

Uncle Frank Wanganeen, Kaurna Elder; Mandy Paul, Director Migration Museum and Uncle Ivan Copley, a Peramangk and Kaurna Elder, will share the Aboriginal social and political history that has occurred in the Adelaide city squares. Tour starts: Reconciliation Plaza, Tarntanyangga (Victoria Square), finishing in the Mankurri-api Kuu (Reconciliation Room) at the Adelaide Town Hall for morning tea and discussion with the presenters.

 

Author Talk: A History of South Australia

Fri 31 May, 12.30pm

60 mins

Adelaide City Library, lvl 3

Book now

Join University of Adelaide lecturers and historians Dr Robert Foster and Dr Paul Sendziuk in exploring our state’s history, as told through their latest book: *A History of South Australia*. Discover our past, from before the arrival of the first European maritime explorers to the present day. Sendziuk and Foster offer fresh insights into relations between Indigenous people and European colonisers, and chart the state’s economic, political, social, and cultural development. This talk will include an interactive Q&A session.

Launch Events

Concerts

Adelaide Town Hall: Free Organ Concert With Colin Andrews

Wed 15 May, 12.30pm

60 mins

Adelaide Town Hall

Find out more

Join organist Colin Andrews for an entertaining lunchtime concert.Colin Andrews is musician of great versatility, power and artistry. He has toured worldwide both as a solo performer and in ensemble concerts. From family-friendly pieces to beautiful organ works, there’s a little bit of magic for everyone. All welcome.

The City of Adelaide Band Free Community Concert

Sun 5 May, 2:00pm

120 mins

North Adelaide Community Centre

Book now

The City of Adelaide Band will present an afternoon of relaxing music in the historical surroundings of the North Adelaide Community Centre in support of the History Festival on Sunday 5 May from 2-4pm.A variety of music will be played from jazz standards, semi-classical and popular music under the direction of conductor Sergey Grynchuk and ably assisted by the vibrant voices of Siân Zimmer and Alan Howard-Jones.Performance will be in the Community Hall behind the Library, enter via the side laneway. Refreshments and assorted snacks will be available.

Guided Tours

Adelaide Town Hall Tours

Mon 29 Apr, Mon 6 & 20 May, 10am

60 mins

Adelaide Town Hall

Book now

Passionate and knowledgeable City of Adelaide volunteers guide visitors on a fascinating tour of the building. During the tour, information is shared about the building's architecture, history, its world-famous organ and Colonel William Light, who was a British military officer and the first Surveyor-General of the Colony of South Australia.

Adelaide Town Hall Tour in Russian

Mon 29 Apr, 11am

60 mins

Adelaide Town Hall

Book now

Passionate and knowledgeable City of Adelaide volunteers guide visitors on a fascinating tour of the building in Russian. During the tour, information is shared about the building's architecture, history and its world famous organ.Компетентные гиды-волонтёры проведут  увлекательную экскурсию на русском языке по историческому зданиюГородской Ратуши.Посетителей познакомят с историей, архитектурой здания и его  всемирно-знаменитым органом.

Lost Cinemas of Rundle and Hindley Streets

Tue 30 Apr, 1pm; Thu 2 May, 5pm; Sat 11 May, 12pm & Sun 19 May, 4pm

90 mins

Rundle and Hindley Streets

Book now

Remember when going to the 'flicks', 'talkies', 'pictures' or a 'show' in Adelaide was an occasion to dress up for? Remember the architecture, the detailing, the hustle and bustle before and after a show, the movie posters, the music, the costumes, the sets!Take a stroll with us as we explore the lost cinemas and theatres of Rundle and Hindley Streets. Come join a tour! Do you have a story to share…? Let us know!

If the Stalls Could Talk: A Guided Tour of the Adelaide Central Market

Thu 2, 9, 16 & 23 May, 10am & 2.30pm

Adelaide Central Market

Find out more

It's Adelaide Central Market's 150th anniversary. Join a guided tour of the market and hear about its history. Includes a goodie bag and tea or coffee.

Adelaide Town Hall Tour in Mandarin

Mon 6 & 20 May, 11am 

60 mins

Adelaide Town Hall

Book now

Passionate and knowledgeable City of Adelaide volunteers guide visitors on a fascinating tour of the building in Mandarin. During the tour, information is shared about the building's architecture, history and its world famous organ. 充满热情且知识渊博的阿德莱德市志愿者将为游客参观建筑提供引人入胜的中文导览。在参观期间,将分享有关建筑的建筑,历史和世界著名风琴的信息。

Architecture of Adelaide Town Hall Square

Thu 9 & Wed 15 May, 11.15am & 1pm

45 mins

Adelaide Town Hall

Book now

A walking tour with Glen Woodward that explores the architecture of the Town Hall, Treasury building, Eagle Chambers, Colonel Light Centre and adjacent Meeting Hall of the old Pirie Street Pilgrim Church. This tour is conducted at a leisurely pace and is partially covered.

Heritage Incentives Scheme: Celebrating 30 Years of Success

Fri 10 & 24 & Tue 14 & 28 May 10am

120 mins

City of Adelaide Customer Centre

Book now

Sit back and relax as we take you on an exciting tour of North Adelaide to see some of the most successful, interesting and complex conservation projects funded during the 30 years of the City of Adelaide's Heritage Incentives Scheme. Places are limited!

Self-Guided Tours

Adelaide Ghosts & Ghouls: A Self-Guided Walking Tour

Throughout May

Adelaide City Library, lvl 3

Find out more

Uncover stories of our city’s alleged hauntings and criminal history with this two-hour self-guided walking tour. Begin in the heart of Rundle Mall, eventually following the map into North Adelaide’s leafy streets. Visit our website to access the tour and begin your journey into the darker side of Adelaide’s history.

Choose Your Own Adventure in North Adelaide

Throughout May: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm

North Adelaide Community Centre (enter via Library entrance)

Find out more

Call past the North Adelaide Community Centre and grab a copy of one of the City of Adelaide's three self-guided walking trails: *The High Street*, *Folks on the Hill* and *Marvellous Mansions, Cottages & Castles*. Can't decide? Collect them all! Also available online.

Choose Your Own Adventure in the City of Adelaide

Throughout May: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; Sat & Sun 10am-4pm

Adelaide Visitor Information Centre

Find out more

Call past the Adelaide Visitor Information Centre and grab a copy of one of the City of Adelaide's two self-guided walking trails; *Above the Canopy* and *City of Great Buildings*. Can't decide? Take them both! Also available online.

Holy Sunday Self-Guided Bicycle Trail

Throughout May, 10am-4pm

BikeSA

Find out more

Head to BikeSA and grab your copy of the City of Adelaide's *Holy Sunday* self-guided bicycle trail. Discover the 'City of Churches' at your own pace and explore the history and architecture of our religious buildings. Hire a bike and a helmet for free. Also available online.

Market Meander Self-Guided Walking Trail

Throughout May: Tue-Thu 10.30am-2.30pm; Fri 10.30am-8pm; Sat 9am-1pm

Central Market Information Booth

Find out more

Head to the Central Market Information Booth and grab your copy of the City of Adelaide's *Market Meander* self-guided walking trail. Discover the precinct (Gouger, Grote and Morphett Streets plus Victoria Square) and gain an understanding of the architecture, the people and the stories. While in the area, why not stop for lunch? Also available online.

Multicultural South West Self-Guided Walking Trail

Throughout May: Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm

Adelaide South West Community Centre

Find out more

Head to the Adelaide South West Community Centre and grab your copy of the City of Adelaide's *Multicultural South West* self-guided walking trail. Discover the architecture, the people and the stories that make up this very unique corner of the city. Also available online.

Self-Guided Tour: Heritage & Folklore

Throughout May

45 mins

Adelaide Visitor Information Centre

Find out more

*Heritage & Folklore* takes you on a self-guided journey through history. Discover at your own pace the City's popular pedestrian mall then and now. Having undergone multiple changes in the last decade, listen to and learn about the highlights of some of the beautiful heritage-listed facades located above the shop fronts, signage and canopies in Australia’s first pedestrian mall. The trail is available to download from the City of Adelaide website complete with online maps, additional content, images and audio tracks. Pick up a printed guide at the Adelaide Visitor Information Centre or the City of Adelaide Customer Centre.

Village in the City Self-Guided Walking Trail

Throughout May: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm & Sat 10am-2pm

Hutt Street Library

Find out more

Head to the Hutt Street Library and grab your copy of the City of Adelaide's *Village in the City* self-guided walking trail. Discover the architecture, the people and the stories that make up the distinctive south east corner of the City. Also available online.

Talks/Presentations

Safeguard Your Snaps One-on-One

Nth Adelaide Library: every Wed in May, 2-3.30pm; City Library: every Thu in May 2-3.30pm

90 mins

Nth Adelaide Library, Adelaide City Library, lvl 3

Book now

Learn how to digitise your precious photos and important documents with help from our friendly History Hub Team. During this one-on-one you will create your own digital archive and ensure that you, and your family and friends can enjoy these priceless snaps for many years to come.

A Q&A: Forgotten Founders of the State of South Australia

Tue 7 May, 11am

45-60 mins

Adelaide Town Hall, Queen Adelaide Room

Book now

Join a panel of enthusiasts including Mr Glen Woodward (historian), Mrs Genevieve Theseira-Haese (former City of Adelaide Lady Mayoress), Mr Douglas Potts (retired president of the Victoria League) and Dr Jeff Nicholas (author of *Behind the Streets of Adelaide*), as they reintroduce the audience to James Hurtle Fisher, Colonel Robert Torrens, Robert Gouger, Edward Gibbon Wakefield and George Grote.

The Architect of Adelaide: Colonel William Light 

Wed 8, Tue 14, Fri 24 & Thu 30 May, 11.15am & 1pm

40 mins

Adelaide Town Hall

Book now

Explore the life of Colonel William Light; his travels in Malaysia, England, India, Spain and Italy and finally to South Australia. Join Glen Woodward in the Colonel Light Room as he narrates the history of this celebrated Adelaide figure.

Council Chamber Ghosts

Fri 10, Thu 16, Wed 22 & Tue 28 May, 11.15am & 1pm

40 mins

Adelaide Town Hall

Book now

Join Glen Woodward in the Council Chambers as he guides you through the faces and stories of some of the people who have helped shaped South Australia. Discover the early Mayors of Adelaide, explorer John McDouall Stuart, economist Robert Torrens and VC recipient Roy Inwood.

A Museum’s Memories of a Nation

Wed 15 May, 2-3pm

Adelaide City Library, lvl 3

Book now

Come on a trip down memory lane as we look at a fascinating and eclectic collection of historic objects in this live stream guided tour of the National Museum of Australia. Explore artefacts from early toys and leisure equipment, the technology of Australian developments such as WiFi and the bionic ear, through to costumes from historic periods including Olympic Games ceremonies. Find out how the National Museum decides what to collect, as you hear some of the hidden stories behind Australia’s development as a nation and as a society in this guided live video tour.

Adelaide: Our Namesake

Fri 17, Thu 23 & Wed 29 May, 11.15am & 1pm

40 mins

Adelaide Town Hall

Book now

Join Glen Woodward as he reveals the fascinating life of Adelheid, later to be Queen Adelaide. This seated event will be hosted in the Queen Adelaide Room at the Adelaide Town Hall.

Then and Now: North Adelaide

Fri 17 May, 1:00 pm

120 mins

North Adelaide Community Centre

Find out more

Almost 50 years ago, Norman Etherington (past President National Trust SA and North Adelaide resident) took photos to illustrate a talk on what he loved about North Adelaide. Join him as he reflects, half a century since those slides were taken, on what has changed and what has not.

Who Lived in the Buxton Street Houses: If Walls Could Talk

Sun 26 May, 3:00pm

60 mins

North Adelaide Community Centre

Find out more

Over afternoon tea, Graeme Lange will share with you some of the amazing stories of notable people who lived in Buxton Street including MPs, artists, authors, scientists, business men and women and many other community influencers. Who were they? What were their amazing stories?

Aboriginal Cultural and Political History in Adelaide

Tue 28 May, 10am

120 mins

Reconciliation Plaza, Tarntanyangga

Book now

Uncle Frank Wanganeen, Kaurna Elder; Mandy Paul, Director Migration Museum and Uncle Ivan Copley, a Peramangk and Kaurna Elder, will share the Aboriginal social and political history that has occurred in the Adelaide city squares. Tour starts: Reconciliation Plaza, Tarntanyangga (Victoria Square), finishing in the Mankurri-api Kuu (Reconciliation Room) at the Adelaide Town Hall for morning tea and discussion with the presenters.

Author Talk: A History of South Australia

Fri 31 May, 12.30pm

60 mins

Adelaide City Library, lvl 3

Book now

Join University of Adelaide lecturers and historians Dr Robert Foster and Dr Paul Sendziuk in exploring our state’s history, as told through their latest book: *A History of South Australia*. Discover our past, from before the arrival of the first European maritime explorers to the present day. Sendziuk and Foster offer fresh insights into relations between Indigenous people and European colonisers, and chart the state’s economic, political, social, and cultural development. This talk will include an interactive Q&A session.

Exhibitions

Adelaide Town Hall & City Archives Exhibition

Throughout the Festival: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

Adelaide Town Hall

Find out more

A series of historic displays throughout the Town Hall showcasing the archival and Civic Collection treasures that explore the history and people that have shaped our city.

Becoming Adelaide 

Throughout May: Mon, Tue & Thu 10am-6pm; Wed 10am-7pm; Fri 10am-8pm; Sat 10am-5pm & Sun 12-5pm

Adelaide City Library

Find out more

*Becoming Adelaide*: An exhibition of paintings in oils and acrylics by artist George Linou depicting Adelaide’s heritage architecture and contemporary structures around them. George was born in Adelaide in 1959 to Greek-Cyprian parents who migrated to Australia. His father, a bricklayer, influenced his construction of architectural paintings. George has painted a number of locations, giving the viewer a sense of being within an ever-changing city. 'I’m interested in how Adelaide has evolved and as I travel across the city, I remember stories from my youth and re-imagine them as painted compositions to document the heritage buildings before they disappear.'

Buxton Street, North Adelaide: Its History, Houses & Honourable Residents

Throughout May: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm

North Adelaide Community Centre

Find out more

View a colourful exhibition about Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton MP, the history of the street and photographs of some of the houses, including those taken circa 1976 in a North Adelaide Society survey. See details of many of the early notable and interesting residents and events during this period.

Memories of our Market 

Throughout May: During market hours

Adelaide Central Market

Find out more

The Market has filled our hearts and bellies for 150 years – come and read about others' stories and be inspired share your own on our wall of Market memories.

Progressive Adelaide: The Ups & Downs of our City

Throughout May: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm

North Adelaide Community Centre (enter via Library)

Find out more

The City of Adelaide's built form sits upon a solid base laid out by Colonel Light in 1837. While the City is rich in historic character, there is no denying the built landscape has continually changed over time. This display highlights the construction and deconstruction of some of our well-known and lesser-known buildings through a series of black and white archival photographs. See the City’s iconic spires under construction, our early ‘skyscrapers’ emerging from the ground, the workers who handcrafted and shaped our City skyline of today and sadly the demise of some of our favourite landmarks.

Past Events

2018

'Celebrating 30 years of Success' Bus Tour Booklet

 

2017

'Market Meander' Walking Tour Booklet

'20th Century Heritage' Bus Tour Booklet

 

2016

'Holy Sunday' Bicycle Tour Booklet

'Walk and Talk North Adelaide' Walking Tour Pamphlet

Adelaide: 100 Years Ago Archival Display

2015

'Hidden Gems' Laneway Bicycle Tour Booklet

Rundle Mall 'Above the Canopy' Walking Tour Booklet

The 'High Street': A Self-Guided Historical Walking Trail Digital Version (Tynte Street, North Adelaide)

2014

City of Great Buildings Walking and Cycling Tours Booklet

Black and White Adelaide Display

Heritage Incentives Scheme – 25 Years of Successful Funding Display

Treasures of the Torrens Popeye Tour Booklet

2013

Tales and Treasures of the Adelaide Park Lands Bus Tour Booklet

City of Great Buildings – People’s Choice Campaign

2012

Pubs in the City of Adelaide Bus Tour Booklet

2011

Pubs and Pews of North Adelaide Bus Tour Booklet

2010

Heritage Incentives Scheme – North Adelaide’s Success Stories Bus Tour Booklet

2009

Heritage Incentives Scheme – Heritage in 2009 Bus Tour Booklet

2008

Heritage Incentives Scheme – Restoring Heritage for Today’s Use Bus Tour Booklet

More Information

For more information about any of the events above, please contact Meagan Cox, Heritage (Promotions) Officer, on (08) 8203 7521 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

For more information about the History Festival or to access the full list of events, please see History SA's South Australia's History Festival page.

We are currently trialing a new and improved homepage.

If you would like to continue, choose ’OK’

Thank you for trying the beta homepage.
Please take our survey to share your thoughts and feedback.