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Access to the records

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The State Records Act 1998 establishes a general entitlement to access to State records that are at least 30 years old. Not all such records, however, are open for public access. Some contain information, such as sensitive personal information, that require a longer period of closure.

Access Directions

Government agencies assess the records for which they are responsible, including those held as State archives for continuing sensitivity. They are required to make an 'access direction' to open or close the records to public access.

Archives Resources Kit

The ARK is held by 40 community access points across NSW. The majority of access points are libraries. The ARK consists of microfilm copies of our most popular and heavily used colonial records. Included are records to do with convict arrivals, assisted immigrants, births, deaths and marriages, publicans' licences, electoral rolls, naturalisation, returns of the colony ('Blue Books'), land grants, and the wide range of functions of the Colonial Secretary (1788-1825).

Citing records

It is very important to ensure that archives are cited correctly when referring to them in written works and when requesting them from State Records.

Publishing State archives

If you are considering publishing State archives, either entire documents or extracts from them, you must apply in writing, to State Records to obtain written permission and you must acknowledge State Records as the source of any documents, extracts or quotations.

Reader's Ticket

Before viewing original State archives at WSRC or at one of our regional repositories you will need to be issued with a Reader's Ticket. Any person over the age of 15 years may apply for a ticket.

Viewing original records

Original State archives are stored at the Western Sydney Records Centre (WSRC), Kingswood. They are available to view in the reading room at the WSRC. We do not transfer State archives between offices.