State Archives NSW holds the records of NSW Government from 1788 that meet our criteria for permanent preservation and have been transferred to our control from their parent department.
From time to time there have been occasions where official or government records have somehow been moved out of official custody. These records often end up in local museums, historical societies, libraries or in private hands and are referred to as estrays. We are pleased to accept donations of estray official government records for inclusion in the State archives collection (or in some cases return to the responsible parent department).
Examples of estray records that have been donated to State Archives NSW include public school admission registers, public hospital board minutes and admission registers, court, gaol and police records, plans of government buildings, council rate books, agricultural research station records, etc.
The addition of these records to the State archives collection is a means of ensuring the records can be better preserved in appropriate, secure and climate controlled conditions. It also means the records will be available to the whole community for current and future research.
Please note we do not generally accept:
- Private records (such as private papers and correspondence). Under the State Records Act we can only accept records created and maintained by NSW State government departments or agencies, or by persons employed by or representing the NSW Government in an official capacity. Records of private individuals, companies or organisations are generally not accepted unless they were created or held by the person or organisation acting in an official capacity by or on behalf of the NSW State government.
- Published materials where these are already held by a legal deposit institution. Government organisations have obligations to deposit copies of their publications with the National Library, State Library and State Archives NSW so it is likely this type of material is already held (see trove.nla.gov.au, sl.nsw.gov.au and opengov.nsw.gov.au).
- Photographs, such as school class photographs, government issued certificates, invitations, etc., that are an individual’s own personal copy.