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Notes on bundle titles and notations in registers


Bundles so labelled occur 1901-15 and usually consist of unregistered material presented by a deputation to the Chief Secretary.


Because the Governor had to lay all numbered despatches before his ministers, many such despatches or copies thereof may be found in the Colonial Secretary's letters received. These transferred despatches were registered from 1855 in a separate series of Registers of Despatches, the registration taking the form M150/B. They were then kept together in the bundle labelled 'Despatches' for each year, the last occurring in 1912.

Unfortunately, except for one covering the period 1890-1912 (NRS 932, [4/8263]), the registers which recorded the transfer of despatches to the Colonial Secretary before 1890 have not survived. Despatches recorded in these registers were in many cases connected with other despatches, correspondence and minutes in the same way as papers registered in the Registers of Governor's and Colonial Secretary's Minutes, which adds to the difficulty in finding them but may make the effort more worthwhile.

The Governor's Registers of Despatches received from the Secretary of State can be of considerable assistance in finding this material. The volumes record number or type of despatch, date of despatch, date of receipt, subject and action (including if sent to the Colonial Secretary).

[4/1609] 6 Sep 1854 - 26 Dec 1865
[4/1610] 1 Jan 1866 - 31 Aug 1872
[4/1611] 31 Aug 1872 - 30 Sep 1881 Indexes in front of volumes
[4/1612] 30 Sep 1881 - 7 Feb 1890
[4/1613] 7 Feb 1890 - 30 Mar 1899

A Skeleton Register to these papers has been made in State Records and all the bundles labelled 'Despatches' 1855-1912 have been entered. It also records the original number and date of the despatch to assist finding them by using the Governor's Registers (CGS 4511, [4/1609-13]).

From 1904 the Colonial Secretary ceased to be the main channel of communication. The Colonial Treasurer became Premier in June 1904 and despatches were sent to him for distribution to the relevant ministers and many may be found in his records and only those relating to his office in the Colonial Secretary's correspondence after first having been received in the Treasury. In 1907 a separate Premier's Office was established and despatches from then on were first sent there and then to the relevant department where applicable.


Papers relating to the estimated expenditure of government departments for the following year, particularly of the Colonial Secretary's department. A file on papers effecting the Estimates (eg a rise in salary for an official) may also be found here.

Inhabitants see Petitions

Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council

Usually consist of requests for papers to be laid before the House taking the form of an 'Order' to the Colonial Secretary or an 'Address' to the Governor. The papers asked for may or may not be included. They were normally printed in Votes and Proceedings.

The papers were separately registered by annual single number with the prefix LA or LC (eg. LA 66/3 and LC 66/2).

However only one register survives:

Register of Orders and Addresses from the Legislative Council and Assembly, 1853-57 (NRS 930, [4/431]).

There is not always a note in the registers of letters received as to whether the papers were called for.


Minutes from the Governor and the Executive Council to the Colonial Secretary. They are separately registered in the form M13672 in one numerical sequence from 1826. There is frequent cross-referencing between the registers of letters received and the minute registers.

For a item list of registers and additional information see Minutes and Memoranda.

Minutes registered in the form M163/A

This registration was used from May 1855 to November 1856. The register has not survived and the difference between these minutes and the ordinary minutes is not always clear. They seem to be mostly instructions to the Colonial Secretary and other public officers from the Governor, whereas the ordinary minutes at this time chiefly consist of extracts of Executive Council minutes and Acts passed by the Legislative Council to be acted upon, and letters from the Emigration Commissioners and the Agent General in London passed on to the Colonial Secretary (see Minutes and Memoranda).

Minute papers for the Executive Council

Prepared by the Colonial Secretary and other officials, these were registered separately in the form Ex Co 69/415 in the Executive Council series Registers of minute papers laid before the Executive Council, 1846-1909 (NRS 4235, [4/1453-512]). They are usually re-registered as a Minute from the Governor and Executive Council (see above) after being laid before the Council and include a summary of the Council's decision, instructions etc. Hence they mostly can be found in the bundle labelled 'Minutes' but occasionally occur together or in the bundles labelled 'Unnoted' or 'Miscellaneous'.

On Hand

Bundles so labelled occur 1886-1906. It seems to indicate that a matter had not been completed in a particular year. The registers are usually noted 'on hand' in the final column.


For the period 1833-49 petitions from groups (Eg.. 'Inhabitants of', 'Residents of', 'Settlers at', 'Publicans' etc) are usually to be found in the annual bundle for 'Miscellaneous Persons I'.

To be destroyed

Papers culled out of the years 1881 to 1885 in the 1940s but not always destroyed. Those surviving are kept in a separate run following those which it was planned to keep.


From 1859 to 1891 there is usually an annual bundle called 'Unnoted'. The meaning of this is not clear. The papers are mostly ordinary registered letters and the Registers do not indicate that they are 'unnoted'. However Minute papers for the Executive Council are frequently included and many of the papers have 'submitted' and a date on them.


The unregistered papers usually consist of semi-private letters to the Colonial Secretary, office memos etc which it was not thought worthwhile to register. However occasionally interesting returns and printed papers may be found here. The occasional registered letter is also included.