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Publications for researchers

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Purchase microform from the Archives Resources Kit; books; CD-Roms and DVDs; printed guides, and; family tree charts and posters.

Many items are available to purchase securely online at shop.nsw - the NSW Government Online shop. If an item is not available on shop.nsw use our print-friendly order form (PDF, 193kb).

All prices include GST and are listed in Australian dollars (AUD$). Mail order prices include postage & handling. There is a 20 working day turnaround on all orders including those taken through shop.nsw. Please direct all enquiries to the Assistant, Publications and Online Services at

Featured: Book Moments in Time

Moments in TimeWe were inspired to create this book through our "Moments in Time" blog series on Archives Outside. The blog series asks a question each fortnight "Can you date this photo?" and much enjoyment and head scratching ensues over who can identify the images and how.

The book includes photos from our collection that have been featured in the blog series (and on our Flickr photostream) and comments by you!

Archives Resources Kit (ARK)Archives Resources Kit
The ARK was a result of our Access for All initiative to provide people in regional and rural NSW with better access to the State's archives. The Kit contains microform copies of our most popular and heavily used colonial records. It is available in 40 community access points throughout NSW.

The Kit builds on a genealogical research kit issued in the 1980s. It includes explanatory material and links to information available on our website.
You can purchase parts of the ARK for your local/family history society, or if you own your own microform reader, for yourself.

» See the full ARK pricelist

Fact sheets - Archives in Brief

Archives in BriefArchives in Brief (AIB) leaflets are an excellent starting point for your research. They are designed to give you brief historical information on a particular topic, along with a list of the most relevant records in our collection. AIB also provide practical tips and information to carry out your research. Some leaflets contain details about our facilities and procedures.

Archives in Brief can be accessed online and in the reading room.

Book: Politics, Patronage and Public Works
The Administration of New South Wales Vol 1

Politics, Patronage and Public WorksHilary Golder, UNSW Press and State Records NSW, 2005

1842-1900. Hilary Golder's history locates administrative developments in their social and political context, showing how the administration of New South Wales developed in response to a set of distinctively Australian problems and solutions. She has drawn on parliamentary papers, politicians' private correspondence and the rich resource of surviving government records to attempt a more sympathetic reading of administrative challenges in a growing colony.

Price = $59.95    By mail = $71.95 (includes postage & handling) Overseas orders = $84.95

» Buy online at shop.nsw

Humble and Obedient ServantsBook: Humble and Obedient Servants
The Administration of New South Wales Vol 2

Peter J Tyler, UNSW Press and State Records NSW, 2005

1901-1960. New South Wales government administration increased four-fold during the first six decades of the twentieth century with population growth and greater community expectations. Peter Tyler's history draws on the treasure trove of original material in the NSW State archives collection and other sources to show how the bureaucracy coped, and sometimes stumbled, during sixty years of massive social change.

Buy the two volumes of The Administration of New South Wales for just $99.00 - see more details about the special (PDF, 746kb)

Price = $59.95    By mail = $71.95 (includes postage & handling) Overseas orders = $84.95

» Buy online at shop.nsw

CD-Rom: Colonial Secretary's Index, 1788-1825Colonial Secretary greybox - CD
The index focuses on the early inhabitants of our nation - the convicts, settlers, indigenous Australians and colonial officials. It also contains many entries relating to ships, subjects, towns and localities.

This CD is part of the ARK. There is also an
online version of this index.

Price = $39.95    By mail = $42.95 (includes postage & handling)

» Buy online at shop.nsw

DVD: 'Old Register' One to Nine DVD Registers of assignments and other legal instruments

Old Register DVD CoverThe nine volumes of Registers of assignments and other legal instruments, known as the 'Old Registers' (NRS 5604), provide a valuable insight into this State's colonial history from 1794 to 1824.

They include information on: land transactions; domestic legal matters such as affidavits, bills of sale and bonds; whaling and shipping agreements; a variety of deeds; letters of power of attorney; names of early colonists; and place names within Sydney and the colony.

Price = $125.00 (includes postage & handling)

» See more about this product

Printed Guides

Guide to NSW State Archives relating to the teaching of English to Post WWII Migrants

Guide 1 - Migrant EducationThe Adult Migrant Education Program (AMEP) celebrated 50 years of service in 1998. This Guide aims to make the records concerning the operation of adult migrant education in New South Wales more accessible to researchers by bringing together records from the holdings of State Records. The records highlight the program's contribution to building a strong and diverse community in New South Wales.

The Guide lists the main series in our collection relating to adult migrant education. It also includes series from other agencies that further an understanding of the migrant education experience. These records date from the arrival of post World War II European migrants to the mid 1980s.

There is also an online version of this guide.

Price = $13.20 Special = $2.00 By mail = $5.00 (includes postage & handling)

» Buy online at shop.nsw

Guide to NSW State archives relating to Responsible Government

Guide to Responsible GovernmentResponsible government shifted responsibility from the Imperial Parliament and its colonial representatives to local decision making.
Cover of guide 22 May 2006 commemorated the occasion of the first sitting of the first Parliament of the Colony of New South Wales, marking 150 years of responsible government.

This guide helps to commemorate the establishment of responsible government and highlights some of the key events and movements that have played their part in making the State and its Parliament what they are today.

By publishing this guide, we aim to make the New South Wales Government's records of the movement to, and development of, responsible governernment in the State more accessible to all those interested in this area of historical research.

See more information about this guide.

Price = $35.00 Special = $25.00 By mail = $37.00 (includes postage & handling)

» Buy online at shop.nsw

Guide to NSW State archives relating to convicts and convict administration

Convict GuideThe Guide to NSW State Archives relating to Convicts and Convict Administration (the Convict Guide) provides an entry into an unique collection of records, created by both the British Government and the Colonial administration, covering the period 1788-1842, including the 'convict exiles' of the 1840s and 1850s. It is divided into eighteen chapters that follow the course of the convicts' 'careers' - starting with their trial and transportation and 'ending' with freedom, later punishments or death.

Each chapter provides: a brief historical overview, to set the scene; a list of indexes to relevant records; details of the government agencies and the records they created and maintained. An extensive index also provides a useful entry point to the guide.

See more information about this guide.

Price = $59.95    By mail = $71.95 (includes postage & handling)

» Buy online at shop.nsw

A Guide to NSW State Archives relating to Aboriginal people

Guide to Aboriginal recordsThis Guide consists of a listing and description of records held by the Archives Authority (now State Records NSW) which relate to Aboriginal people. It is divided into two parts:

Part One is a list of the records created and used by the Aborigines Protection Board - renamed the Aborigines Welfare Board in 1940 - which was established in 1883 and held its final meeting in 1969. This was the main New South Wales State Government agency which implemented and administered the legislation and policy having an impact on Aboriginal people throughout New South Wales.

Part Two is a list of material created by other New South Wales Government agencies which contains significant mention of Aboriginal people. It should be borne in mind, however, that this is not an exhaustive list of sources which can be used in tracing Aboriginal family and personal history. References to Aboriginal people are likely to be found throughout the records of various Government agencies held by the Archives Authority and may be located by means of the various guides, finding aids and indexes available in the reading room.

There is also an online version of this guide.

Price = $27.80    By mail = $30.80 (includes postage & handling)

» Buy online at shop.nsw

Using the Archives Resources Kit

The Archives Resources Kit (ARK) was a result of our Access for all initiative to provide people in regional and rural NSW with better access to the State's archives. The Kit consists of microform copies of our most popular and heavily used colonial records.

State Records has established community access points at the following places:

Albury, Armidale, Bathurst, Bega, Bourke, Broken Hill, Canberra, Casino, Cobar, Coffs Harbour, Cooma, Deniliquin, Dubbo, Forster, Gosford, Goulburn, Grafton, Griffith, Inverell, Kempsey, Lake Macquarie, Lismore, Lithgow, Maitland, Moree, Mudgee, Muswellbrook, Newcastle (Newcastle Region Library, University of Newcastle), Nowra, Orange, Parkes, Port Macquarie, Tamworth, Taree, Tenterfield, Wagga Wagga, Wollongong (Wollongong City Library, University of Wollongong), Young.

Short Guides

Short Guides are easy reference to record series relating to a particular subject or area of research - they are all available on our website free of charge:

1. Electoral rolls

We hold a number of early manuscript and printed electoral rolls in the records of the Colonial Secretary's Office. This guide lists those known to be held, Electoral Rolls, 1842-64, CGS 1199.

2. Birth, death and marriage records

These records listed also include those such as baptisms, convicts' applications to marry, coroners' inquests and probate.

3. Returns of the Colony 'Blue Books'

The Returns of the Colony ('Blue Books'), CGS 1286 consist of sets of statistical returns of the Colony of NSW and of areas under its jurisdiction compiled annually from 1822 to 1857 by the Colonial Secretary for transmission to the Secretary of State for the Colonies in London.

4. Attorney General and Justice - Registry of births, deaths and marriages

State registration of births, deaths and remarriages commenced in NSW on 1st March 1856. This guide covers registers of births, deaths and marriages for 1787-1856.

5. Index to Abstract of all licences for marriage to free persons, Mar 1813-26 Dec 1827

This guide provides an index to the Abstract of all licences for marriage granted to free persons, 17 March 1813 - 26 December 1827. The information given in the Abstract includes number of licence; date of licence; names of parties; and, where, when and by whom the marriage was solemnised. In many cases name of parent (father and mother), name of previous spouse (for women only), occupation, and place of residence are also recorded.

6. Department of Education - subject files, 1875-1948

These files deal with the administration of the Education Department and matters relating to education generally. Subjects covered are diverse, ranging from routine administrative matters to policy issues. The correspondence is incomplete for many subjects however; some subjects are covered in some detail, for example Parents and Citizens Associations, Schools of Arts and Teachers' Colleges.

7. 1901 Census - Collectors' books

The 1901 Census is the latest census held by State Records. This guide provides a list of the Collectors' Books which are arranged alphabetically by census district. Each subdistrict is allocated a number or letter and is arranged chronologically within the census district. Many of the subdistricts include a map and a brief description of the area boundaries; all identify the collector responsible for the area.

8. Land grants, 1788-1856

The records listed in this Short Guide relate to the original alienation of land from the Crown. Alienation of land lead to the granting of freehold title, or land grants

9. Naturalisation and Denization records, 1834-1903

The naturalization and denization records described in this guide contain details of citizenship rights granted to aliens of non-British origin between 1834 and 1903. These people came from a wide range of national backgrounds—Chinese, Danish, French, German, Italian and Polish to name a few.

10. Professions and Occupations: A select list of sources

This guide lists a selection of the more significant State archives relating to particular professions and occupations

11. No publication

12. Muster and Census Records

This Guide lists the more significant State archives relating to muster and census records, 1788-1901. Sections of the guide cover records that are available for: New South Wales; Norfolk Island and Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). Other sections include copies of records from the Public Record Office in London, printed sources and related records.

13. Surveyor General: Surveyor's Field Books, 1794-1831 - now a searchable online index

Field books are diaries of surveying expeditions, descriptions of natural features, sketches of farms, town allotments and roads. Trigonometrical observations and triangulation surveys are also included. In some field books references to map and plan catalogue numbers have been added.

Family Tree Charts and Posters

7 Generation Family Tree Chart
7 Generation Tree Chart
This decorative chart is made of good-quality, parchment-like paper.
With space for adding seven family generations there is also a background image of a tree.
A great gift idea......and a lovely addition to any family historian's wall!
Size is approximately 430mm x 560mm.
Price = $3.70    By mail = $6.70 (includes postage & handling)
» Buy online at shop.nsw

9 Generation Family Tree Chart9 Generation Family Tree Chart
A black and white poster-sized family tree chart. There is plenty of space to add your family members. Great value!
Size is approximately 500mm x 626mm.
Price = $2.00    By mail = $5.00 (includes postage & handling)
» Buy online at shop.nsw

Australian Mail Steamer "Orient" PosterAustralian Mail Steamer "Orient", 1880 - Poster
A copy of the original plan [SR Plan 2095] held in our collection. Includes ship dimensions and tons.
Above this detailed plan are smaller sketches of other ships. Poster size is 620mm x 210mm.
Price = $4.00    By mail = $7.00 (includes postage & handling)
» Buy online at shop.nsw

Cazneauz - Waiting for the FerryCazneaux "Waiting for the Ferry" - Poster
(McMahons Point ferry, Lavender Bay)
This beautiful poster is a great addition to any wall.
Poster size is 585mm x 790mm.
Black & White.
Price = $5.00    By mail = $8.00 (includes postage & handling)
» Buy online at shop.nsw

First Fleet - Poster
First Fleet poster "This chart comprises the eleven ships of The First Fleet and lists the names of those who sailed from Portsmouth, England in each of those ships on 13 May 1787. The chart also includes those who left on board and did not reach Sydney Cove as well as those children who were born during the voyage."
This impressive and detailed poster lists all the ships of the First Fleet and its passengers. Alongside each name is listed the passengers' status ie., convict (the sentence and alias is included), master of the vessel, lieutenant, wife of mariner etc and if the passenger died on the voyage.
Prince change as of 1 October 2015.
Price = $20.00    By mail = $30.00 (includes postage & handling)
» Buy online at shop.nsw