NSW State Archives eNewsletter - ISSUE 110 November 2021

Digitised - (Railway) Land and Building Cards

Thanks to the fantastic volunteer work led by Bill Phippen and David Lyons from the Australian Railway Historical Society NSW branch (ARHSNSW), we have added another digitised series to our online catalogue, Collection Search.

The series NRS 16408 Land and Building Cards contains details of railway property available for lease or sale. Most cards include at least one photograph of the property and a floor plan drawn on the back of the card. A wealth of other information is included about the property, including name; railway line; mileage; station yard; location to town facilities; street or access; construction (materials and features), repairs; accommodation; services; fittings; remarks; valuation; current owner; purchaser; price; date and remarks.

Search for these cards by typing "NRS-16408 [place name]" (e.g. "NRS-16408 Goulburn") in the search box for our online catalogue, Collection Search, to see some great examples of railway workers' cottages and station masters' houses. 


Schools: what the files can tell you

School files can be used for your local history research as they very strongly reflect the growth or decline of towns.

The school files in our collection cover both World War I and World War II but particularly reflect the many impacts of World War I. Teachers enlisted and on return took up teaching again; they applied for rent allowances and reimbursement of travelling expenses; and repaired school residences. Women resigned or had their employment terminated when they married, as married women were barred from public sector employment. 20th century increases in population saw local members making representations for more buildings or new schools in the area.

The files are an excellent source of information, not only for the history of a school but the history of a local community. 


Copy service changes

From 1 February 2022 we are changing our copy pricing.

We have simplified the pricing structure to give a single all-inclusive fee shown at the time of order that applies on a per file/per entry basis. Our new model is based on continuing to provide value for money and cost recovery.

As before additional fees will apply for urgent orders and postal delivery of hard copies.

See our website for details of our new copy service prices.


New jigsaw puzzle

Test your skill with our latest jigsaw puzzle!

This photo shows pedestrians on the East Footway of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, 14 April 1932. It is from the Sydney Harbour Bridge photo albums [NRS-12685] that document the construction of the bridge from the turning of the first sod to the final steps of construction, to the official opening and the early use of the bridge by the public.

Stories from the Archives

Gudyarra: The First Wiradyuri War of Resistance — The Bathurst War, 1822–1824
In his latest book Gudyarra, public historian Dr Stephen Gapps presents a detailed account of the Wiradyuri resistance during ‘The Bathurst War’. Gapps traces the occupation of Wiradyuri lands by Europeans following Governor Macquarie’s push to expand the colony westward, through to the ‘total gudyarra’ (‘war’ in the Wiradyuri language) that erupted in the early 1820s.
Gudyarra draws extensively upon surviving documents held in the NSW State Archives collection, including Colonial Secretary’s correspondence, land and stock returns, and returns of the colony.

Search the index to Colonial Secretary's Papers 1788-1825.


Exhibition - Iridescent by Gerwyn Davies

Iridescent by Gerwyn Davies playfully reimagines the museums, archives, historic houses and gardens under the care of Sydney Living Museums and NSW State Archives.

Explore 12 large-scale photographic works and costumes inspired by the whispers and fragments of our lesser-known histories.


Christmas opening hours

A reminder of the changes to opening hours for our Reading Room over the holiday period:

Saturday 25 December 2021 to Monday 3 January 2022

OPEN 9am-4pm
Tuesday 4 January 2022 to Friday 7 January 2022
(note the change of closing time)

OPEN 10am-4pm
Saturday 8 January 2022

Normal opening hours will resume Tuesday 11 January 2022. 

Please remember the Reading Room is closed on Mondays and is accessible by appointment only.

Upcoming webinar

Finding Your Ancestors is a Royal Australian Historical Society (RAHS) project to help and encourage people to take the first steps to research their Aboriginal family history online and in libraries and archives. As well as a range of resources including videos and links to detailed research guides Paul Irish and Michael Bennett present a monthly Q&A Zoom session. Wendy Gallagher will be joining Paul and Michael this month to talk about records in the NSW State Archives Collection.  

See more about the project including links to various resources on the RAHS website

This session is directed towards the Aboriginal community. 

Finding Your Ancestors: Researching Aboriginal Family History in NSW

Tuesday 7 December 2021


Watch top-numbering mini-webinar online

Have you ever tried to find a Government document from the 19th century?

This webinar (now online) explains the top-numbering filing system used by many Government departments in the 19th and early 20th centuries, giving you the tools to understand this essential concept of archival research.


Connections in the catalogue

Our collection never ceases to amaze!

In our digitised Gaol Photos Index (1870-1930) we found a James Pearce in three separate photos that show him grow from boy to man.

Search for other inmates changing over time.

Our address:
Museums of History NSW
Western Sydney Records Centre
161 O'Connell Street
Kingswood, NSW 2747

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