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Indexes and Registers to Letters Received, 1826-1966

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a) Indexes and Registers, 1826-1906
The Indexes are arranged alphabetically giving official position or surname and initials of the writer and the registered number of the letter. There is little subject indexing in the early volumes but the need for subject entries gradually led to more being introduced.
The Registers are set out as follows: registered number, number of previous papers (if any), when registered, from whom, residence of writer, date sent, nature of application, referred (to whom and when) and result of application.
It is important to note that in the use of the registers the column marked 'Result of Application' is the one which contains information as to the whereabouts of the required papers. The notation 'Put by' or 'Read' or no notation means that the papers should be found at the number shown in the 'Registered Number' column or, for the period 1833-49, in the appropriate last author group.
In some cases further registered numbers may appear in the final column, and these numbers must be followed through in subsequent registers until the notation 'Put by' is reached or where there is no reference to later registered numbers; at this point all previous papers including the final letter should be found.
It should be noted that certain papers may have been forwarded to other government departments and an entry to this effect made in the 'Referred' column. In such a case the searcher will have to consult the records of that Department if the papers were not subsequently marked as returned in the 'Result of Application' column of the register.
Where a number prefixed by 'M' appears in the 'Result of Application' column it refers to Governor's and Colonial Secretary's Minutes registered in the Registers of Minutes and Memoranda, 1826-1927 which must be consulted to find what happened to the papers.
EXPLANATIONS OF OTHER TERMS USED IN THE REGISTERS will be found at in Notes on bundle titles and notations in registers.

b) Index-Register System, 1907-21
In 1907 an index-register system was introduced. At the beginning of the year blocks of numbers were assigned to letters which the department expected to receive concerning a particular subject, or from a department or private person e.g. numbers 6000-6700 could be assigned to leave applications from staff. Should these be inadequate further numbers would later be assigned. Two volumes were marked up in this way — one for entries A-L, the other for entries M-Z. The volumes are thus self-indexing with some additional indexing in the front of the volumes.

c) Card Index and File Movement Registers, 1922-66
Another new system was introduced in 1922 based on self-indexing cards, the volumes being used to record file movements.
Files registered on cards A-L were given a registered number preceded by 'A', those M-Z prefixed 'B'. In front of the 'A' section and the 'B' section for each year or group of years are filed cards marked 'Cross References - Subject' (yellow) and 'Cross References - Personal' (blue) which show the registered numbers of the papers. It is necessary to refer to the File Movement Register to get the Card Index subdivision number and the number of the card within the particular subdivision upon which the particular letter is registered.
The File Movement Registers are arranged in registered number order and record the movements of files with references to the card numbers and subject subdivisions in the card register. The cross references are not very detailed eg. personal names which are the subject of letters have not been found listed.
One can also look directly at the cards which are filed alphabetically by classification

 

Consumption Distress
Cremation Balgownie
Crown Solicitor Broken Hill
Customs and Excise Act Newcastle
Dairy Supervision Act Miscellaneous
Dental Board Dog and Goat Act
Departmental Reports Education, Department of
Deputations

and afterwards refer to the File Movement Registers to locate the papers.