- Publishing State archives
- Citing State archives
- Donations of published material
If you are considering publishing, reproducing, printing, displaying or transmitting State archives (either entire documents or extracts therefrom) to other people you need to ask for permission to use State archives. This guide includes information on how to request permission to publish and how to cite records accurately.
How to request permission to use State archives
Your request should be in writing and include full details of the archives and how you plan to use them.
A full description or ‘citation’ of the records will assist us in identifying the material you want to use and minimise delays in granting permission. Please see below under the section Citing State archives for more information.
There are three ways to request permission:
NSW State Archives
PO Box 516
Kingswood NSW 2747
You don’t need to ask permission to use State archives for the purposes of personal research or study, or if you wish to cite or use quotes and transcribed extracts from State archives.
We will respond to your request in writing, attaching our standard terms and conditions. Any variations or additions to the standard terms for a particular request will be included in the letter of permission.
Fees for permission to use State archives
We may charge a fee if you intend to charge others for access to a copy of a State archive or include the material in advertising or a product for sale.
A note about fragile or damaged documents
Fragile and damaged material may not always be able to be copied if it is likely to cause further deterioration.
We can only provide permission to use copyright material where the State of New South Wales holds the copyright. The State of New South Wales does not necessarily own all the copyright or other intellectual property rights in records held as State archives.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have all the necessary consents from all the owners of copyright, moral rights, trade marks and other intellectual property rights in the materials you want to use in compliance with the Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth) and any other relevant legislation before using the material.
You may also need to obtain permission from the relevant public office before publishing or distributing copies of State archives. This includes material such as the photographs from the former Aborigines Welfare Board.
We will inform you if the State archives you wish to use are covered by such a policy.
How to find the information for a citation
When you reproduce or refer to State archives in a publication or paper, you should cite them accurately. This will help other researchers to use them in the future.
An archives citation is different from a reference to a publication like a book. Archives are maintained in the order in which they were created and kept.
An individual record item is catalogued as part of a record series that was created and maintained by an agency in the conduct of its business, reflecting its recordkeeping systems at the time.
The method of citation described here reflects change to NSW State Archives' cataloguing practice and is the same as the method suggested by the National Archives of Australia.
An archives citation identifies:
- the archives institution holding the record (NSW State Archives, in the case of NSW State archives)
- (optional) the agency that created the record
- the record series of which the record is part
- the record item itself, and
- (optional) a copy reference, such as a microfilm reel number, when you viewed the record using such a copy.
Please contact us if you need more information about citing State archives.
Frequently used record series
You can find the details you need for a citation in the catalogue if the record item is listed there. Alternatively use the details available in our published guides and the item lists in our reading room. Please ask one of the archivists for help if you are unfamiliar with these sources or if you need to consult another finding aid.
An abbreviated citation provides the essential details for identifying a record item and is generally all that is required. Sometimes, however, it is helpful to give an expanded citation, for example in a full biography, or if you are using only footnotes and no bibliography, the first time you cite an item or an item from a particular series (see below).
NSWSA: NRS 3829, [5/17427.2].
NSW State Archives: Department of Education; NRS 3829, School files, 1876-1979. [5/17427.2] Randwick Public School, 1893-1908.
NSWSA: NRS 4354, H.4037/1.
NSW State Archives: Department of Public Works; NRS 4354, Health building files [H files], 1935–1991. H.4037/1 Bloomfield Hospital, Orange, water supply (Mins. 1–128), 1957–59.
NSWSA: NRS 12212, [4/4510 pp.014-014a], COD 13, Reel 713, Fiche 786.
NSW State Archives: Principal Superintendent of Convicts; NRS 12212, Registers of convicts applications to marry, 1825-51. [4/4510 pp.014-014a] James Smith per Hooghley and Mary Murphy per Brittannia, 14 Aug 1837, COD 13, Reel 713, Fiche 786.
NSWSA: NRS 12951, 1723.
NSW State Archives: Registrar General, Companies Branch; NRS 12951, Documents lodged under Companies Acts [Company Packets], 1875-1975. [3/5733] 1723 Tung Wah Newspaper Co [Company] Ltd [Limited], 1898-1939.
NSWSA: NRS 13360, Series 4-152266.
NSW State Archives: Supreme Court of NSW, Probate Division; NRS 13660, Probate packets. Series 4-152266 James Smith Hollisen - Date of Death 15/12/1927, Granted On 26/06/1928.
NSWSA: NRS 12060, A18/2449 enclosing B16/3028
NSW State Archives: Premier’s Department; NRS 12060, Letters received, 1907-1976. [9/4770] A18/2449 enclosing B16/3028 ‘Memorandum for the information of the Premier: State War Council’, p.1.
Please note the standard punctuation used to separate the elements.
|Element||Abbreviated citation||Expanded citation|
|Archives institution||NSWSA:||NSW State Archives:|
|Note: 'NSWSA' may be used after a first citation or where it appears in a list of abbreviations used|
|Creating agency||Not used||Colonial Secretary;|
|Supreme Court of NSW, Probate Division;|
|Note: where the record series was created by more than one agency, cite the agency whose date range corresponds to the date of the record item being cited|
Use series number only
|Use series number, title and date range|
|NRS 4354,||NRS 4354, Health building files [H files], 1935-91.|
|NRS 897,||NRS 897, Main series of letters received, 1788-1825.|
|NRS 12212,||NRS 12212, Registers of convicts applications to marry, 1825-51.|
|NRS 15905,||NRS 15905, Nominal Roll of the First Railway Section, Australian Imperial Expeditionary Forces (AIF), 1917-20.|
|NRS 13660,||NRS 13660, Probate packets.|
|Note: a series number can have an NRS (New South Wales Records Series) prefix.|
|Record item||Use item number or control symbol only||Use item number or control symbol, item title or description, and item date or date range|
|H.4037/1||H.4037/1 Bloomfield Hospital, Orange, water supply (Mins. 1-128), 1957-59|
|[4/1836B pp 941-944] No 212||[4/1836B pp.941-944] No 212 Memorial re Thomas Connell, 7 August 1824,|
|[4/4510 p 014-014a],||[4/4510 pp.014-014a] James Smith per Hooghley and Mary Murphy per Brittania, 14 Aug 1837,|
| p 044|| p.044 William Childs|
|Series 4-152266||Series 4/152266 James Smith Hollisen - Date of Death 15/12/1927, Granted on 26/06/1928|
|Copy reference||COD, Fiche, Reel||Use COD, Reel, Fiche numbers|
|Fiche 3083||Fiche 3083|
|COD 13, Reel 713, Fiche 786||COD 13, Reel 713, Fiche 786|
|Reel 3050||Reel 3050|
If you are citing several record items from the same series it is not necessary to repeat all the elements of an expanded citation. The following format is appropriate in these circumstances:
NSW State Archives: Colonial Secretary; NRS 897, Main series of letters received, 1788-1825.
- [4/1850 p.65] Petition for mitigation of sentence, 1817, Fiche 3175;
- [4/1836B pp 941-944] No 212 Memorial re Thomas Connell, 7 August 1824, Fiche 3083.
We maintain a small reference library for use by staff and researchers. We would be most grateful if authors of publications that relate to our records donate a copy to the library.
ARCHIVES IN BRIEF
Content in the guide first appeared in Archives in Brief 10 - Citing State archives and Archives in Brief 11 - Guidelines for publishing State archives
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