Index to the Gaol Photographs
We have a 'digitisation-on-demand' initiative for this index. When you order a copy of a gaol photograph we will add the image to the index in due course.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that the Index to Gaol Photographs includes the names and images of Indigenous Australians, some of whom are now deceased.
There are currently c.47,500 entries, from the photographic description books listing prisoners from the following gaols:
- Albury (1876-1929) NRS 1966
- Armidale (1894-1915) NRS 1989
- Bathurst (1874-1930) NRS 1998
- Berrima (1883-1888) NRS 2021
- Biloela (1885-1906) NRS 2027
- Broken Hill (1904-1929) NRS 2057
- Darlinghurst (1869-1914 - now complete) NRS 2138
- Deniliquin (1895-1929) NRS 2191
- Dubbo (1889-1920) NRS 2202
- Goulburn (1884-1930) NRS 2232
- Grafton (1894-1929) NRS 2258
- Maitland (1885-1898) NRS 2326 and (1875-1903) NRS 2327
- Parramatta (1881-1930) NRS 2397
- State Penitentiary, Long Bay (1914-1930) NRS 2467
- State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay NRS 2496
- Trial Bay (1892-1901) NRS 2549
- Young Gaol (1894-1920) NRS 2605
Note: This index is not included in the Keyname Search.
Contents of the Gaol Photograph Description Books
The Gaol Photographic Description Books contain a photograph of each prisoner and the following information: number, prisoners' name, aliases, date when portrait was taken, native place, year of birth, details of arrival in the colony - ship and year of arrival, trade or occupation, religion, standard of education, height, weight (on committal, on discharge), colour of hair, colour of eyes, marks or special features, number of previous portrait, where and when tried, offence, sentence, remarks, and details of previous convictions (where and when, offence and sentence).
The series was created in accordance with the 'Gaol Regulation' proclaimed in the NSW Government Gazette of 19 February, 1867. While the series roughly covers the period 1870-1930, the dates of the books for each gaol vary.
About Maitland Gaol
Please note there are two series for the Maitland Gaol Photograph Books NRS2326 [1885-1898] & NRS2327 [1875-1930]. NRS2327 appears to have been kept at the State Penitentiary, Long Bay. For the period 1885-1898 you may get two search results for a prisoners. Where the dates of both series overlap the information about prisoners is primarily the same although there will be cases where there is additional information. Please consider this when you are placing a copy order.
Accessing the records
Microfilm copies of the Gaol Photographic Description Books (for the gaols listed above) can be viewed in our reading room.
There is a photocopy service available from this Index. You will see an 'Add to Cart' tickbox option on the search results page(s).
Copy format: You will receive an A4 print from the black and white 35mm microfilm on photographic paper.
You can purchase duplicate microfilm reels ($55.00 each) for your local library, family history society or for your own use at home.
We would appreciate any feedback and suggestions you may have on using the Index.