Volunteer highlights from 2020 include 5,500+ hours and an incredible 45,539 entries added to our Online Indexes!
About the Volunteers Program
Become a NSW State Archives Volunteer
If you have a love of history and working with historical documents then becoming a NSW State Archives volunteer may interest you.
In 2001 NSW State Archives established a Volunteers Program to help make the State archives collection more accessible. With an initial intake of 10 people, there are now nearly 60 volunteers working on a variety of important projects which could not otherwise have been undertaken.
Most of the projects involve working with original and digital copies of records. Indexing and listing requires data entry in an Access database, Word or Excel document. Training and supervision is provided.
For a broader experience in working with the records volunteers can be rotated around the various projects including work within the conservation lab.
We have a variety of volunteer projects at present including:
- indexing, and
- catalogue listing.
Volunteers working in the conservation section perform a range of tasks which include cleaning, flattening and re-boxing records. This is a very popular program.
Deceased Estate Files (arranged by Duty paid date)
A deceased estate file is created for every individual who dies leaving property or other assets and on whose estate therefore death duties have to be paid. Our volunteers are currently cleaning and rehousing the Deceased Estate Files that are arranged by Duty Paid Date. Once the files have been cleaned and rehoused our Volunteer listing teams list and barcode the files to be added to Collection Search.
The volunteer indexing teams are helping to make the archival collection more accessible through our online indexes. The volunteers are currently working on a variety of indexes from Convicts to Soldier Settlers.
Convicts Applications to Marry
This index is to the parties applying for permission to marry including: their names; their ages; the date of permission or refusal; ship of arrival; sentence (for the party who was the convict); whether free or bond and the name of the clergyman. Six of the seven registers have been indexed so far, covering December 1825 to March 1841; August 1837 to February 1851 [4/4508-4511; 4/4513-4/4514].
Now complete! This indexing project is to convict assignments. This index lists the prisoner's name; ship of arrival; to whom assigned; residence; date of assignment and remarks.
Registers of Nurses
Now complete! This index lists the registration of General, Mid-wife, Infant and Psychiatric nurses from 1926-1954.
Tramways Employees, 1879-1904
Now complete! The index lists the employee's name; service entry date; date of birth and remarks.
Inquest Card Index
This index is to inquests and magistrates inquiries from Jul 1942-Jun 1963. This index lists inquest number; name of deceased, particulars of fire; inquest date; where held; coroner's name and remarks.
This is quite an involved project as the Soldier Settlement files have not been previously indexed. Volunteers working on this project have produced a guide to the records (available at the WSRC reading room) and are now indexing the records.
Board of Fire Commissioners Personnel Index
Now complete! This new index is to the following information about Board of Fire Commissioners staff in 1884: name; where and when born; height; previous occupation; marital status and number of children; promotions; examinations; and details of appointment, offences and awards.
Dependent Children's Registers
This new indexing project is being undertaken by our remote volunteers. These records relate to children who were admitted to State care. They record where the dependent children were placed (whether with foster parents or guardians). Some of the children were eventually adopted.
We are constantly asking ourselves how we can improve public knowledge and use of archival resources.
The catalogue volunteers are helping to answer this question by making archival collections available in our online catalogue. NSW State Archives has an online searching facility allowing users throughout New South Wales, Australia and the world to identify relevant archival resources, often by means of a simple keyword search. The catalogue volunteers create inventories of items that assist the public in finding archives using the keyword search facility. The work of the volunteers further assists NSW State Archives by preserving and allowing greater control over these archives.
Projects are constantly changing and there will always be a story that will be of interest to you and the greater public. Current listing projects include: Deceased Estate Files, and the Administrative and functional files [Department of Local Government].
If you are interested in volunteering for NSW State Archives simply fill out the Volunteer Program Expression of Interest form. Please note we have a long waiting list. Vacancies in the program may not arise for some time after you apply as our dedicated team of volunteers remain with us for many years.
For all enquiries about volunteering at NSW State Archives contact the Coordinator Volunteer Program on (02) 9673 1788 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.