Photonegatives of buildings considered by the Historical Buildings Committee of the NSW chapter of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) to be buildings of architectural and historic value. An initial list of buildings was drawn up by the
Committee in 1949 soon after its formation. The list covered churches, houses, streets, hospitals, barracks, university buildings, bridges, courthouses, convents and forts, all within the geographical scope of the County of Cumberland. Over the next few years the committee reviewed buildings on the list, assessing architectural merit, historic significance and state of preservation.
In August 1953 The RAIA (NSW Chapter) was organising an international architectural convention to be held in Sydney in May 1954. The chair of the convention organising committee commissioned Barry Wollaston, then a final year architecture student at the University of Sydney, "to take photographs of buildings in the historic list prepared by the Chapter" (ref: RAIA (NSW Chapter) Convention organising committee minutes 24.8.1953). The photographs were to be used in an exhibition held at the time of the convention and in a special issue of 'Architecture: journal of the Royal Australian Institute of Architect produced for the convention. The April-June special issue included 16 of Wollaston's photographs [MM, April 2020]