State Records Home
Personal tools
You are here :: Home Publications Now&Then eNewsletter Now&Then 43 - April 2010

Now&Then 43 - April 2010

Online News

The latest additions to online indexes and resources on our website include:

1. Gaol Photographic Index update

Lousia Collins

The Grafton Gaol Photograph Books 1894-1929 been microfilmed and indexed. There are c. 37 500 entries in the Gaol Photographic Index.
The entries can be searched in the Index to Gaol Photos online.

2. 'Online' microfilm of shipping lists available

State Records has completed a pilot project to digitise the microfilm copies of the Persons on bounty ships (Agent's Immigrant Lists), 1838-96 (NRS 5316); Persons on bounty ships arriving at Port Phillip, 1839-51 (NRS 5318) and Germans on bounty ships, 1849-52 (NRS 5320).
Currently we are upgrading the online copies of the Agent’s immigration lists. Over the next few weeks you should notice an improvement in the clarity and loading time of the images. We will also be adding the remainder of the lists for arrivals in Port Phillip from reel 2143A over the coming months.

3. Wildcard tip for online searches

Some of our online shipping indexes list the exact date of arrival for a ship rather than simply listing the year it arrived. If you are searching for a person or family and don't know the exact date a ship arrived try placing the wildcard character around the year in your search (ie, %1839%) and with the surname filled in you should find all people with that surname arriving in that year.

This technique will also work for other indexes where an exact date is listed.

4. Lachlan Macquarie Gallery – April highlight

Lachlan Macquarie, 1822

This month's highlight: Macquarie's instructions to James Meehan for the laying out of the Five Townships of Windsor, Richmond, Pitt town, Wilberforce and Castlereagh dated 26 December 1810. Notice Macquarie's attention to detail in the instructions: he sets a regular width for the streets and the assignment of land to be used for the Church, School, Gaol and Guard house. He even gives directions as to the type of dwelling houses which may be built.

Soldier Settlement Loan Files

Clinton Soldiers' Settlement Estate

Over 300,000 soldiers returned to Australia from WWI. In all some 40,000 returned servicemen and women took up an offer of farming land, made possible by Soldier Settlement schemes in all the states of the Commonwealth; fewer than half remained on the land fifteen years later.

At present the State Records’ Volunteers are working on an index to the NRS 8058 Soldier Settlement Loan Files. When this index is complete you will be able to search it via the online Indexes on the website. In the meantime it is possible for us to check the unfinished database on your behalf as long as you know the location of the land and name of the returned soldier. The loan files concern the applications for financial assistance by returned soldiers and include correspondence relating to the maintenance of properties and repayment of loans.

A website dedicated to these pioneer soldier settlers - A Land Fit for Heroes has been developed by State Records NSW in conjunction with the National Centre for Australia Studies and the University of New England.

There are a number of indexes relating to Soldier Settlement records which are available to search on the website.

The NSW Archival Research Fellowship 2010 - Call for Applications

The NSW Archival Research Fellowship ($15,000) is offered annually by the Government to assist a person living in New South Wales to complete an innovative and quality research project that makes substantial use of the records collection of the State Records Authority of NSW. The successful applicant is expected to produce an article or book for publication, or a website, exhibition, film or event that is significant to the people of NSW and promotes the collection of the State Records Authority. The Authority will assist in identifying outlets for publication or public presentation of the work undertaken on the Fellowship.

Applicants are required to demonstrate that their project will:

  • add to, or bring fresh perspectives to bear upon, their nominated subject; and
  • benefit their experience and development as a researcher, historian or archivist

The NSW Archival Research Fellowship is open only to people living in New South Wales. 

Please refer to the Fellowship guidelines on the Arts NSW website for details.
Closing date:  Tuesday 27 April 2010.  There is no entry fee.

Nomination forms and guidelines are available for downloading from: 

Flickr Update

Currently at 1,042 uploaded images with 57,193 views our popular photostream grows weekly. We'd like to thank all our Now&Then subscribers who have spent time researching and commenting on images in our Flickr photostream. We continually marvel at the different techniques you use to identify a date or location of a photo and we love all the extra information you include in your comments. It all helps to provide more insight into these snapshots in history.

Some of the latest Sydney additions include:

Newtown Court House
Newtown Court House
(previously unidentified)
 View from Darlinghurst
View of Sydney (from Darlinghurst)

 Queens' Square
Queens Square, Sydney
This drinking fountain in the Royal Botanic Gardens
caused a lot of discussion
Marble drinking fountain at Royal Botanic Gardens
Some excellent detective work
on the gates of the Royal
Botanic Gardens

Gates at Royal Botanic Gardens

A Cable Tram Trailer
(now known to be on Cockatoo
Island) also caused a bit of intrigue!

Cable tram trailer

Stay tuned for more additions soon.

If you don't have a Flickr account you can still browse these photos, many of which are also available on Photo Investigator.

Where else can you see us online?

Archives Outside - Blog Update

Staff 'Picks'

Archives OutsideSince our last update we have introduced a new blog series called 'Staff Picks' where State Records staff reveal their favourite records in the collection….and not entirely for the reasons you might think!

Moments in time.....

Have you been following the series "Moments in Time" at our blog? If you haven't had a chance to visit yet it is well worth your while.
This popular fortnightly series of posts asks you, the reader, to help date and/or locate photographs from our archival collection.
Recent images include:

We love hearing your comments on these posts and are constantly (and pleasantly) surprised by the in-depth and well-researched details you provide!

In other Blog News....

• We have a new conservation tip on rehousing glass negative
• There has been some Archival Detective Work in action at the University of Newcastle.
• And much more!
If you would like to keep up to date with what's happening on the blog you can subscribe via email or RSS Subscribe RSS. 

Spotlight on the Colonial Secretary's Department

Recently we have received a few enquiries relating to the historical background of the Colonial Secretary’s Department. Whilst reading through the State Records Newsletter Archeion Part 1 1982 we discovered an article on this subject which clearly describes the background history, and various responsibilities of the Agency of the Colonial Secretary.

In May 1982 the Department of Services previously the Chief Secretary’s Department (the oldest existing public office in Australia) was abolished.
The Office of Colonial (or Chief) Secretary began with the foundation of the Colony of New South Wales in 1788. From 1788 to 1820 the Secretary to the Governor acted as Secretary to the Colony. The duties of this position gradually increased, to those described by Governor King in 1804:

The Secretary “Has the custody of all official papers and records belonging to the colony; transcribes the public despatches; charged with making out all grants, leases and other public Colonial instruments; also the care of numerous indents or lists sent with convicts of their terms of conviction, and every other official transaction relating to the Colony and Government; and is a situation of much responsibility and confidence.” [Historical Records of Australia, I,4,538]

In 1821, Frederick Goulburn was the first officer to be officially appointed to the position of Colonial Secretary. The offices of Secretary to the Governor and Colonial Secretary, however, were not separated until May 1824.

After Responsible Government in 1856 the Colonial Secretary (at times know as the Principal Secretary, or Chief Secretary) frequently acted as Premier or Prime Minister prior to the establishment of the Premier’s Department in 1907. During the nineteenth century the Colonial Secretary’s Department was undoubtedly the most important administrative unit in NSW. It had dealings with other public offices on nearly all major developments and activities, as well as having responsibility for a wide and varied range of functions.

The diversity of the functions and duties of the Colonial Secretary are clearly shown in the administrative arrangements published in the NSW Government Gazette, No. 155, of 9 October 1856 whereby the Colonial Secretary was charged with the business connected to: Legislative matters; naval and military establishments, including the Volunteer Corps; foreign correspondence; postal arrangements and contracts; immigration; Police, including Petty Sessions; gaols and penal establishments; medical establishments, including quarantine, vaccination and lunatic asylums; registration and statistics; municipal institutions; Government printing; proclamations, commissions, and other instruments under the Great Seal; naturalization of aliens; ecclesiastical establishments; public education; literacy and scientific institutions; hospitals and charitable institutions; Aborigines; remission and execution of sentences; and “all other matters of internal arrangement not confided to any other Minister.” 

In further administrative arrangements notified by the Governor on 4 October 1859, the Colonial Secretary was referred to as the “Colonial Secretary or Chief Secretary to the Government.” This latter title was gradually adopted as the title of the office, although an official ministerial title change did not occur until 1 April 1959 under the Ministers of the Crown Act (No. 4 of 1959). Subsequently, between 3 January 1975 and 23 January 1976 the department was titled the Department of Services; between 23 January and 14 May 1976, the Chief Secretary’s Department; and from 14 May 1976 to its abolition, the Department of Services.

This information has been sourced from Archeion – Newsletter if the State Archives (No. 1 June 1983).

As you can imagine the Colonial Secretary’s records within our holdings are vast. Covering such a diverse subject range the records of the Colonial Secretary are a valuable and insightful collection of records.

The Guide to the Colonial Secretary can be browsed online

For further information see also Archives in Brief 64  and Archives in Brief 65

The Index to the Colonial Secretary’s Correspondence 1788-1825 is available to search online.


In Living Memory logo

The In Living Memory NSW tour is on display at Museum of the Riverina in Wagga Wagga until Sunday 18 April. Aboriginal hosts Debbie Evans and Melanie Evans are available to assist visitors at various times during the week and you can call them on mob: 0434 026 356 for enquiries and group bookings.

Next stop for the tour will be Cootamundra, where a new venue has been arranged. The exhibition will be on display from 22 April — 6 May 2010 at The Arts Centre, 16/20 Wallendoon Street, Cootamundra. There will also be a visit to the old Cootamundra Girls' Home from 2.00-4.00 pm, Sunday 25 April 2010, all welcome. Ring Bob Glanville on ph: 02 6942 3069 for enquiries and bookings.

Plans are in motion to add Griffith to the tour in August 2010, between Dubbo (15 May – 25 July) and Broken Hill (10 September – 17 October). More news in the next Issue of Now&Then.

Check the exhibition webpage for venue details and updates.

In Living Memory is also still on display at State Records Gallery in The Rocks.

Exhibition Talks & Tours are available for small groups of 5-20 people, weekdays between 10 am and 4 pm.

In Living Memory exhibition
State Records Gallery
Sydney Records Centre
2 Globe Street (off George Street)
The Rocks
9am - 5pm, Mon - Fri
10 am - 4pm, Sat
Closed public holidays
Enquiries & Exhibition Tour bookings (02) 8247 8660

Upcoming Talks and Tours

Pioneer 1788-1820 Association Meeting

John Cann will be presenting an overview of the role of State Records and what documents are kept in the State Archives.
9 April 1:30pm - 3:00pm
1st Floor 280-282, Pitt Street Sydney
The Association
Phone: 9262 7049

National Trust Heritage Festival 2010

Christine Yeats will be presenting on “Business and trade in the early colony: Exploring the archival sources”.
10 April 2:00pm-4:00pm
Mitchell Theatrette, SMSA, 280 Pitt Street Sydney
Contact: Beverley Brooks

Shellharbour City Library Heritage Festival

Shellharbour City Library’s Heritage Festival at Albion Park. Gail Davis will present two talks on family history and local history.
16 April 10:00am-4:00pm
Albion Park Library, Russell Street
Contact: Janelle Cundy
Phone: 42 216273

Mount Druitt Historical Society Meeting

Christine Yeats will be giving a presentation to the Society on record relating to Land, including grants, leases, and purchases during the time of Governor Macquarie.
17 April 2:00pm-4:00pm
Venue TBA
Contact: Judy Radecki
Phone: 9625 0783

Information Awareness Month 2010 ‘Access across the generations’

Russian Migration and Settlement in NSW. Seminar organised by State Records and the Royal Historical Society.
31 May 10:00am-3:00pm
History House, 133 Macquarie Street
Contact: Mari Metzki
Phone: 9247 8001

Royal Australian Historical Society

Janette Pelosi will present her paper “Submitted to the Colonial Secretary: popular entertainment in the State archives 1828-1856”
2 June 10:00am-2:00pm
History House, 133 Macquarie Street
Contact: Mari Metzki
Phone: 9247 8001

For further information check the online events program  or ring Lindsay Allen on (02) 9673 1788.