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. The Register of Access Directions lists whether records are open or closed to public access.
If you can't make it to our Western Sydney Reading Room to access records there are other organisations that hold copies of some NSW State archives. This page lists where those records are held.
Some of our archives are listed on other websites such as Ancestry, Find My Past, Family Search and Mariners and Ships in Australian Waters.
We have made some of the most useful State archives for family and local history available in the Archives Resources Kit, located at 40 community access points around NSW
Provides information on how to access patient identifying records from NSW operated mental health facilities and asylums for the poor/infirm and destitute.
Public access to the records of government is a fundamental right in a democratic society. The State Records Act 1998 promotes the principles of accountability and access by requiring public offices to create records of their business and administrative transactions and ensuring that records of significant value are preserved. The underlying principle is that all relevant records of enduring value will be publicly available in due course.
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 relating to 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).