Records of the 1828 Census to be inscribed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register

We are thrilled that records of the 1828 Census of NSW which we hold as part of the State Archives Collection are to be inscribed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register. This is wonderful national and international recognition of the State Archives Collection and our work in preserving and making accessible the State’s archives.

The 1828 Census was the first official census undertaken by NSW after it was found the Governor had no authority to compel free men to come to a muster – the previous means of counting the colony’s population.

The Census covers some 36,500 inhabitants, both convict and free, and captures a social and economic picture of the Colony of NSW in November 1828, 40 years after the Colony’s establishment. It covers all settlements within the jurisdiction of the then colony of NSW including Moreton Bay and Norfolk Island, 

It records such detailed information for each person (including children) as name, age, if free or convict, if born in the colony or ship and year of arrival, sentence if arrived as a convict, religion, employment, residence, district, total number of acres, acres cleared, acres cultivated, horses, horned cattle, sheep, and remarks.

The records to be inscribed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register include:

We are in the process of digitising this material which will be made available on our website in the coming weeks.

We will also be announcing some exciting plans for the 1828 Census that will allow more people than ever before to view the documents – stay tuned!