Rygate & West’s Plans of Sydney were executed in 1888 by the surveying firm Rygate and West. The main focus of the survey was to provide an accurate physical description of the City’s buildings. Commercial survey work was encouraged by City insurance companies who used the plans for rating insurance risks – particularly fire. The plans cover the Darlinghurst, Haymarket, Surry Hills and Woolloomooloo area. Each sheet covers one or more blocks. Construction materials are indicated by colour coding: brick and stone are red; iron is blue/grey; and wood is yellow/brown. Each sheet is annotated to show the nature of the premises (e.g. bakehouse, stable, finance agency) and sometimes construction details (e.g. verandah, passage). Circled numbers are used to show the number of storeys of each building. Names of owners or occupiers are also often indicated. Street numbers are shown on the ‘footpath’ outside each address. The original Rygate and West’s Plans of Sydney are located in the Department of Lands and were kindly loaned to the City of Sydney Archives for digitisation.