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State Records website

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A brief history of the evolution of the State Records website

State Records launched its website in 1997. Since then we have progressively added content for both the general public and NSW public offices. Our most popular online resource, by far, is the ongoing addition of indexes to our archival collection, Indexes Online. Most of these online indexes are searchable by name and place.

The year 2005 saw the implementation of a Content Management System and the re-design allowed us to organise and present content to our specific audience groups in a much more user-friendly and navigable way. We split the website into four audience-specific areas:

The re-design included Photo Investigator (our catalogue of photos digitised since 2002) and in January 2006 we introduced a secure online payment facility as part of our Copy Service.

The 2009 re-design

We formally moved from the Minstry for the Arts to the Department of Commerce on 1 November 2006. Whilst graphic design reflected the new colour scheme and departmental logo, the content management system (CMS) in which the website was housed needed a dramatic overhaul. The decision to migrate the website to a new CMS co-incided with the NSW Government Website Style Directive.

Added features

We still have our four audience-specific areas and previously added features:

New sidebars

Two new sidebars on both the left and right of the screen: the left assists with site navigation; the right gives you quick access to the latest news and what's on information, plus the addresses of our two offices.

Breadcrumb trail

The dynamic "You are here:" breadcrumb trail is a handy feature that keeps web visitors informed of where they are within the site. It doesn't matter where your browsing takes you, you will always know where you are.

Live search

The CMS includes a useful live search facility that immediately begins to produce results as you type your keywords into the site search box.  


A handy feature which allows you to email a page to a friend or colleague; post a page to one of your online accounts such as Facebook or MySpace; or add a page to a social media site such as Digg or Stumbleupon.

Archives Investigator

Archives Investigator - our catalogue - has also undergone an update. You can sort search results, pre-order items from some record series and purchase items from some record series. Not all items are available to purchase or pre-order; with over 8 millions items in our collection, it will be a long time before all of these become fully discoverable and accessible online.


If you have any comments or feedback about this information we'd like to hear from you.