Housing Co-ops and the Archive Box

In a time of increasingly unaffordable housing in Sydney and rent prices shooting through the roof, Housing Co-ops offer a viable alternative for university students. They operate by members who make decisions in the running of the property. Stucco, formed in 1991 and located in Newtown, is Sydney’s only student housing co-operative and is home to around 40 students. Its members pay low rent and the spirit fostered in community living is unparalleled through other housing alternatives. In organizing Stucco’s archives for its members and writing a more concise history for their website my project will draw attention to this housing alternative for students and improving educational access for students that need to live away from home to study.
I would tell future students that when looking at archives you can find many surprises, don’t go in knowing what you will write about. Looking through the Stucco archives I thought I would be dealing with maybe a few old newspaper clippings about the housing. It was built in an old glass factory and many of the original structures were adapted. I found myself researching how glass was made in the 1920s, finding old letters written by politicians, and old pamphlets for youth unemployment benefits from the 1980s. Archives are never isolated to the organization that collected them and are far reaching through time and society.

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