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If you have a love of history and working with historical documents then becoming a NSW State Archives volunteer may interest you.
About the Volunteers Program
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 records. Participating volunteers take part in the program for one three hour session each fortnight. Indexing and listing requires data entry in an Access database or Word 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 conservation; indexing; and catalogue listing.
Volunteers working in the conservation section perform a range of tasks which include cleaning, flattening and reboxing records. This is a very popular program and volunteers are rotated regularly.
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. Indexed so far - January 1826 to April 1833; January 1838 to March 1841.
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
The Register of Nurses indexing project began in August 2011. The index lists the registration of General, Mid-wife, Infant and Psychiatric nurses from 1926-1954.
This indexing project is to Tramways employees from 1879-1904. This 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.
Devonshire Street Cemetery Reinterment Index
This new index is to details about the re-interment of remains, and in some cases monuments, from Devonshire Street Cemetery following its resumption to make way for the development of Central Railway Station. Details include Devonshire Street Cemetery number, name of deceased, date of death, Cemetery where re-interred, with division, section, and number, name and address of person to whom exhumation permit issued, and remarks.
Board of Fire Commissioners Personnel Index
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.
Royal Botanic Gardens and Government Domain Employees Index
This new index is to the Register of employees, c.1863-1926. This register shows employee's date of birth, date of employment, status, salary and adjustments to salaries, or a change in duties. Occasionally marital status, housing allowances, leave of absence, pensions and dates of death are given. There is an index at the front of the volume.
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.
Since 2002 nearly 200,000 items have been listed by the volunteer catalogue teams.
Projects which have been worked on during this time include, Supreme Court divorce papers, State Pollution Control Commission correspondence, Department of Agriculture correspondence and many more. Projects are constantly changing and there will always be a story that will be of interest to you and the greater public.
How to become a Volunteer
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.