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a long list of instagram accounts dedicated to vintage aussie cities

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There’s something so incredibly fascinating about vintage photographs and the way they capture long-lost fashion trends, buildings that have since been bulldozed and rebuilt, and historical events that some of us couldn’t even imagine experiencing.

Some of the best vintage snaps document cities and towns that we’ve personally lived in, worked in and grown in (who doesn’t love seeing what their neighbourhood looked like 100 years ago?). Thankfully, some rad folks have put in the hard yards by sourcing these magical photos and posting them online, for the rest of us to peruse at our pleasure.

If you fancy a hefty dose of nostalgia for eras you’ve never lived through (or you’re simply a history buff), then have a squiz at the grids of these Instagram accounts that are dedicated to vintage photographs of life in Australian cities.

Old Vintage Melbourne @oldvintagemelbourne
If snaps of the gorgeous old buildings in Collins Street and the many different versions of Melbourne’s premier form of public transport – the tram – get your nostalgia glands tingling, then Old Vintage Melbourne is the account for you. Its grid often includes ‘then and now’ snaps, so you won't need to spend hours wracking your brain over where you’ve seen a particular corner before.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Old Vintage Melbourne (@oldvintagemelbourne)

Retro Sydney @retrosydney_
Swish vintage cars and glove-wearing, coat-toting ladies float your boat? Then you’ll get a real kick out of falling down the rabbit hole that Retro Sydney has curated. You’ll also find loads of shots of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge throughout the decades. Cool, eh?

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sydney in Retrospect (@retrosydney_)

National Archives of Australia @naagovau
The National Archives of Australia (NAA) is a neat little federal government agency dedicated to looking after the country’s records, including historical snaps. NAA’s Instagram account is a treasure trove of vintage photos taken in cities and towns across the country, including Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, and our capital, Canberra.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by National Archives of Australia (@naagovau)

Forgotten Footscray @forgottenfootscray
This one’s a little more niche. Forgotten Footscray is dedicated to super-old snaps of Melbourne’s inner-western suburbs, including Seddon, Yarraville, Footscray, Spotswood, Newport and Williamstown. Even if you don't live in these suburbs, you'll still appreciate the account's many black and white images of rather grand buildings, and the occasional old-school train or tram. 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Forgotten west (@forgottenfootscray)

History Australia @historyaustralia
Attention, history buffs: as its name suggests, you’ll get a real kick out of this account. History Australia covers places from all over the country, and will occasionally share a curious historical tidbit alongside its images.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Australian History (@historyaustralia)

ANU Archives @anuarchives
This Insta shares the archives stored by the Australian National University (which happens to be huge). While the uni is based in Canberra, its extensive collection includes photos from all over the country – particularly of lovely old pubs.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by ANU Archives (@anuarchives)

National Film & Sound Archive @nfsaonline
The Instagram account belonging to our treasured audiovisual archive agency doesn't post many shots of city streets or buildings, but it does share snippets of public life in the form of old film clips (make sure you click on the one below – it's a gem).

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by National Film & Sound Archive (@nfsaonline)

Melbourne History Photographed @melbhistoryphotographed
Another one for Melburnians. This account curates snaps that show off all the fun Melbourne folk were having back in the day (and their swish outfits, too).

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Melbourne �� (@melb_historyphotographed)

State libraries and archives
Each state and territory has its own nifty public library or archives agency, and most of these entities now have their own Instagram accounts. There, you’ll find loads of cool vintage snaps and other historical bits and pieces. Keep scrolling to see a few.

State Library of WA @statelibrarywa

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by State Library of WA (@statelibrarywa)

Library & Archives NT @libraryarchivesnt

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Library & Archives NT (@libraryarchivesnt)

Tasmanian Archives & Heritage @tasarchivesandheritage

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Tasmanian Archives & Heritage (@tasarchivesandheritage)

State Library of SA @statelibrarysa

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by State Library of SA (@statelibrarysa)

Queensland State Archives @qsarchives

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Queensland State Archives (@qsarchives)