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William Dymock William Dymock

William Dymock

A young William Dymock (1861-1900) started a bookselling business on Pitt Street in Sydney.

William was an engaging young man and knew his business well. He became the largest bookseller in the colony and as his business grew, he moved to bigger and grander premises until, in the 1890s he moved his business into the southern wing of the Royal Hotel in George Street, Sydney – starting the company's long association with the site. William's business was advertised as "the largest Book Shop in the world, holding more than one million books".

Dymocks remained as a tenant in the Royal Hotel on George Street in Sydney for 32 years.

Dymocks Book Arcade Dymocks Book Arcade

William Dymock and David Mitchell

William was commissioned by Sydney book lover David Scott Mitchell (1836-1907) to travel to London and source books for him; and of course, for the Dymock's bookstore. Mitchell's collection started with English literature, and then turned almost exclusively, to collecting Australiana, with the ambitious goal to collect a copy of every single document, no matter its format, relating to Australia, the south-western Pacific, the East Indies, and Antarctica.

On Mitchell's death in July 1907, he gifted his collections to the Public (now State) Library of New South Wales with an endowment of £70,000 to fund collection additions. As a condition of the gift, the NSW government was required to construct a building to house the collections to be known as the Mitchell Library, now part of the State Library's Macquarie Street precinct.

William died aged 39 in 1900, he was unmarried and childless. His business was left to his sister Marjory Dymock (1853-1924), who was married to John Forsyth (1846-1915). John became Dymocks chairman.

Bookstore Entrance Bookstore Entrance

The Block

Builders Beat Brothers started construction of The Block for a contract price of £197,750.

The first half of the building was completed in the two boom years to 1928, then the Great Depression struck. To fund the building and find tenants, Dymocks issued preference shares and became a public company listed on the Sydney Stock Exchange. The other half of the building was completed in 1932. John M Forsyth; then his son John WH Forsyth (1910-1976); and then John WH Forsyth's brother, Malcolm H Forsyth (1921-1981) followed each other as chairman and managing director of the public company.

John Forsyth John Forsyth

John Forsyth

John PC Forsyth, William Dymock's great, great nephew and son of John WH Forsyth, acquired 100% of the ordinary and preference shares and privatised the business, having just sold his printing and magazine publishing business.

About three years after acquiring Dymocks, John PC Forsyth saw an opportunity to franchise the brand and developed a formula that would neatly fit his vision of the ideal bookstore. In formulating the plan, he travelled to the United States, Canada, England, China, Japan, and Europe to find the best ideas and the best bookstores to model.

On his return, he radically changed the format of the store to bring Dymocks Retail from the 19th Century into the 20th Century. He wanted to embrace the old-world charm of character and tradition in the store but was keen to deliver a new customer experience where the "book became the star".

Dymocks Franchise Dymocks Franchise

Dymocks Franchise System

John PC Forsyth introduced the Dymocks Franchise System, allowing franchisees to benefit from the great bookselling tradition.

Since then, Dymocks' company-owned and franchised stores have opened throughout Australia, including online. The Dymocks retail offer now includes an ever-growing range of gifts and lifestyle products to delight customers and satisfy their gifting needs.

Arapala Farms Arapala Farms

Arapala Farms

Arapala Farms was developed on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales where more than 80,000 macadamia trees and 800 avocado trees are producing hundreds of tonnes of macadamia nuts and many avocados each year.

Dymocks Properties Dymocks Properties

Dymocks Properties

Starting with the Dymocks Building, the portfolio now comprises substantial commercial property investments in major Australian cities and prime coastal, commercial and agricultural land holdings in Western Australia, Tasmania, and New South Wales.

Dymocks Children's Charities Dymocks Children's Charities

Dymocks Children's Charities

Dymocks is passionate about helping kids in need learn to read and write. It launched The Dymocks Literacy Foundation in 2000 and changed its name to Dymocks Children's Charities in 2009. The charity is supported by Dymocks. It also raises money via tax-deductible donations from people and organisations who want to improve children's life opportunities through literacy. The charity has provided millions of dollars of books chosen by disadvantaged young Australians and priority schools through its Book Bank, Book Bonus, Book Libraries, and other programmes run throughout Australia.

Telegram Telegram


Dymocks acquired Telegram Co., a wholesaler with agencies for a myriad of luxury stationery, gifting and lifestyle brands including Lamy and Moleskine. It also designs and produces its own branded products.

Milligram Milligram


The Milligram retail business was launched and comprises online and retail stores offering the world's best designer stationery, office, and lifestyle accessories.

Dymocks Tutoring Dymocks Education

Dymocks Tutoring launched

This tutoring business offers students online and in-hub tutoring across a broad range of subjects. The move into education is a natural next step in achieving Dymocks' mission of 'education for life'.