NSW State Archives eNewsletter - ISSUE 109 October 2021

Digitised Dependent Children Registers 1883-1923

We are excited to announce that we have added a new online index to our website - the Dependent Children Registers Index, which links to digitised images of the records.

The Dependent Children Registers (NRS 13358) relate to children who were admitted to State care between 01-01-1883 and 31-12-1923. They record where the dependent children were placed (whether with foster parents or guardians). Some of the children were eventually adopted.

The registers provide details of: name of child; age; religion; where received; name and known address of parents and remarks; particulars of foster parents and guardians - names, addresses, dates when received and when transferred, and how placed; and how eventually disposed of and date (this may be by adoption, back to custody of one or both parents, or the child may have attained the age of eighteen).

Our index includes almost 29,000 entries, with links to the digitised record provided in PDF format (click on the 'Details' link).

Start searching today!


4,000+ MSB images digitised!

Over 4000 digitised glass plate negatives from the Maritime Services Board (MSB) are available to browse and download in our catalogue,
Collection Search.

The images date from 1870 to 1960 and show Sydney Harbour as a working harbour and a centre of work and industry as well as a place of natural beauty. We highlight some of these images in the gallery.


How to Move a Zoo exhibition

More than a hundred years ago, Sydney’s residents were woken by a cacophony of weird and wonderful noises. The zoo animals were on the move.

Over the course of six months in 1916, hundreds of Sydney’s favourite animals left behind their dismal and outdated cages at the old Moore Park Zoo and were shepherded through the city streets before being ferried across the harbour to their new, purpose-built home – Taronga Zoological Park.

How to Move a Zoo invites visitors of all ages to reimagine this unique Sydney story and meet the animals that delighted generations. Enter a space of immersive projections that re-create the sights and sounds of the animals’ journey through the streets of Sydney. Choose your animal and see it walk, run, hop or fly across the cityscape to its new home at Taronga. Discover how the planning of Taronga incorporated the latest zookeeping practices to give the animals spacious, bar-less enclosures set into the natural landscape.  

Specially commissioned illustrations, coupled with rarely seen historical photographs from the NSW State Archives Collection, re-create this incredible story in a playful, thought-provoking interactive exhibition opening 20 November 2021 at Museum of Sydney.


Reading Room refresh

During lockdown we were able to complete some upgrades to the Reading Room and the Readers Lounge.

We have replaced the carpet, updated and removed some shelving, added new images to the Reading Room walls and updated the kitchen in the Readers Lounge!

If you are coming to see it for yourself, remember to make an appointment first.


New jigsaw puzzle

Test your skill with our latest jigsaw puzzle!

The photo in this jigsaw puzzle shows Bettington and Merriman Streets, in The Rocks c.1901. It is from a series of photos taken by officers of the Government Printing Office during the years c.1870-c.1920. [NRS-4481]. The photos cover a wide variety of subjects such as public buildings, railways, tramways, street scenes, harbour views, Sydney University, groups of people, ships, public occasions, the Botanic Gardens, military camps, wharves, dams and waterways, statues and slums.

Don't forget our other jigsaws, while we ride out the lockdown together.

Stories from the Archives

Check out this video created by Architectural Construction Academics which features State archives regarding the Construction of the Sydney Opera House.


Sydney Open 2021

Over the weekend of 5–7 November, Sydney Living Museums presents a reimagined Sydney Open 2021 featuring a curated program of online and unique outdoor experiences.

Explore Sydney’s cultural heritage and architecture, and engage with ideas on the city’s identity and sustainability, and with First Nations perspectives, through livestreamed panel talks, self-guided audio walking tours, podcasts, expert-led virtual tours of significant buildings and more. Online and all free.


Theatres & Public Halls: what the files can tell you

The files in series NRS-15318 Files relating to licences for theatres and public halls were created by the Chief Secretary's Department and then later by the Department of Local Government and cover the years 1895 to 1922. They provide information about local businesses – both in relation to theatres and public halls and the construction industry. Theatres and public halls are a large part of recreation in any town. The rise and fall of these buildings chart changes in population and in the broader world of recreation.

Find out more about what these files can tell you.


New to Collection Search

We continue to add new items and series to our online catalogue, Collection Search.

Recent additions include:

Stay tuned for more records being added next issue!

Christmas opening hours

Changes to opening hours for our Reading Room over the holiday period are:

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 mini-webinar

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

This webinar 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.

Top-numbering explained mini-webinar
Friday 19 November 2021


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

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