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Sentenced beyond the Seas: Australia's early convict records

A project to digitise and index Australia's earliest convict records. Colour images of early convict indents are available for the first time through 'Sentenced beyond the seas' - a project to digitise and index Australia's early convict records.

Indents list the convicts transported to New South Wales - early indents provide name, date and place of trial and sentence while the later indents usually include physical description, native place, age and crime.Search images
This digitisation project is our gift to the people of Australia and marks the 225th anniversary in 2013 of the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788.
See more information and search the index »

State Records NSW holds Australia’s earliest convict records dating back to the First Fleet in 1788. These convicts were ‘Sentenced to be transported to parts beyond the Seas’ [NRS 1150, SZ115 p.1].

The Orders in Council for these early convicts appointed the ‘Eastern Coast of New South Wales, some one or other of the islands adjacent’ as the place they would serve out their sentences. Convict indents, or lists of convicts embarked on the convict transport ships, were sent out to the new Colony of New South Wales. Sentenced beyond the Seas includes many of these convict indents dated from 1786 to 1801.

Related project information

Convict Records recognised by UNESCO

These significant original convict documents are irreplaceable. They were listed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2007.

Acknowledgements

State Records thanks the following institutions and their staff for their assistance in the Sentenced beyond the Seas project.

State Records NSW

Jenni Stapleton, Acting Director, State Records NSW

Christine Shergold, Manager, Special Projects

Archives Control and Management

Richard Gore, retired Manager, Archives Control

Wendy Gallagher, Acting Manager, Archives Control

Janette Pelosi, Senior Archivist, Context and Documentation (Project co-ordinator)

Anna Gray, Acting Project Officer, Copying and Digitisation

Tara Majoor, Digitisation Officer

Michael Wood, Acting Digitisation Officer

Elizabeth Hadlow, Senior Conservator

Jill Gurney, Conservator

Paul Smith, Conservator

Robert Dooley, Archivist Archives Control

Marie Maher, Archives Control Support Officer

Public Access

Christine Yeats, retired Manager, Public Access

Rhonda Campbell, Acting Manager, Public Access

Warwick Hunter, Policy Officer, Access and Information

Gail Davis, Senior Archivist, Research and Publications

Rachel Hollis, Archivist, Public Access

Information and Communications

David Thornell, Manager, Information and Communications

Ninh Phan, Senior Technology Officer

Anthea Brown, Project Archivist, Online Services

Tuula Lepisto, Assistant, Publications and Online Services

Government Recordkeeping

Amanda Barber, Manager, Government Recordkeeping

Grace Hui, Administrative Assistant, Government Recordkeeping

The National Archives (United Kingdom) (TNA)

Tim Padfield, Copyright Officer, The National Archives (UK)

Paul Johnson, The National Archives Image Library Manager (UK)

National Library of Australia (NLA)

Marie-Louise Ayers, Senior Curator, Pictures and Manuscripts, National Library of Australia

Emma Jolley, Curator, Manuscripts Branch, National Library of Australia

Mathew Stuckings, Reference Librarian, Manuscripts Branch, National Library of Australia

Patricia Crampin, Preservation Reformatting, National Library of Australia

Jennifer Lloyd, Preservation Reformatting, National Library of Australia

Robyn Tait, Preservation Reformatting, National Library of Australia

Robyn Holmes, Senior Curator, Pictures and Manuscripts, National Library of Australia

State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW)

Tracy Bradford, Head of Manuscripts, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Merinda Campbell, Imaging Services, State Library of New South Wales

Kevin Leamon, Coordinator Copyright and Permissions, State Library of New South Wales

W. & F. Pascoe Pty Ltd

(for digitisation of HO 31/1 from AJCP Reel 1734)