This guide provides an entry into a unique collection of records, created by both the British Government and the Colonial administration, covering the period 1788-1842 (plus the 'convict exiles' from the later 1840s and 1850s) that documents the 'convict careers' of these men and women.
The correspondence of the Colonial Secretary is one of the most valuable sources of information on all aspects of the history of the Colony and the State of NSW. Chiefly responsible for this was the Colonial Secretary's pre-eminence in public life and the fortunate occurrence of the survival of the greater part of his papers. Included among these are earlier papers of the Secretary to the Governor taken over by the first Colonial Secretary, Frederick Goulburn, on his appointment in 1821.
We suggest you use these record series lists (NRS 898 and NRS 906) if you are looking for a particular subject as some papers on important matters were extracted from the main series and became special bundles.
The long history of the Office of the Colonial (later Chief) Secretary, and its close association with all aspects of the administration of NSW, meant that it was responsible for the creation of records of major importance to all researchers. The correspondence of the Colonial Secretary is one of the most valuable sources of information on all aspects of the history of the Colony and the State of New South Wales.