Find out what types of prison records are available and how to access them
About the records
The series was created in accordance with the 'Gaol Regulation' proclaimed in the NSW Government Gazette of 19 February, 1867. For more information on the background of this practice, see the introduction to our Captured: Portraits of Crime 1870-1930 exhibition e-catalogue.
While the series roughly covers the period 1870-1930, the dates of the books for each gaol vary. Please note that photographs were not taken of every prisoner admitted to gaol in New South Wales within the period.
Gaols currently listed in the index
- Albury (1876-1929) NRS 1966
- Armidale (1894-1915) NRS 1989
- Bathurst (1874-1930) NRS 1998
- Berrima (1883-1888) NRS 2021
- Biloela (1885-1906) NRS 2027
- Broken Hill (1904-1929) NRS 2057
- Darlinghurst (1869-1914) NRS 2138
- Deniliquin (1895-1929) NRS 2191
- Dubbo (1889-1920) NRS 2202
- Goulburn (1884-1930) NRS 2232
- Grafton (1894-1929) NRS 2258
- Maitland (1885-1898) NRS 2326 and (1875-1903) NRS 2327
- Parramatta (1881-1930) NRS 2397
- State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay NRS 2496
- Trial Bay (1892-1901) NRS 2549
About the copy service
Hardcopy print: Colour A4 print from the digital copy of the record, on photographic paper.
Digital (hi-res JPEG): High-resolution 300dpi digital copy of the record in JPEG file format.
A note regarding the digital images in the Gaol Photographic Description Book index
The original gaol books are very fragile bound volumes and unbound pages. To ensure the long term preservation of the gaol books, handling of the pages during the digitisation process had to be kept to a minimum and aids to assist in flattening the pages (such as placing glass over the page) could not be used. The subsequent digital images therefore include any stains or damage which may have occurred during their active life within a NSW gaol.
In particular, we are aware of some images that have a shine or gloss on the photo as a result of the ‘cockling’ of some pages. If the shine obstructs the face of the gaol inmate or significantly impacts the quality of the photo, we may consider re-photographing the page. Please note that the decision to re-photograph rests with State Archives and Records NSW as the custodian of the State Archives Collection and that the condition of the original page will be the primary consideration in our decision-making.
If you have concerns about a particular image, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Captured: Portraits of Crime 1870-1930 (State Archives NSW exhibition e-catalogue)
- Braidwood Gaol Entrance Book 1856-1899 website