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Last week the State Library’s Family History Team visited State Records NSW at Kingswood for a tour of their reading room and a ‘behind the scenes’ look at some of the hidden treasures in the State Records collection. State Records is the NSW Government Archive and holds some of the state’s key genealogical records such as parish registers and the ever popular convict and shipping lists. Many of these are available to libraries on microfilm and have been digitised for easy access on popular databases Ancestry.com and findmypast.com.
Gaol Photograph Description Books contain a wealth of genealogical data
Archivists Emily Hannah and Bridget Reilly showed us some significant but less well-known sources of interest to family historians, including:
• Colonial Secretary’s Correspondence
• Probate Packets (wills) and Deceased Estates
• Divorce Files
• Railway employee records
• Department of School Education photographs
• Mental Hospital/Asylum records
• Gaol Photographs
State Records Reading Room staff provide expert advice on all aspects of research. The majority of researchers are family historians and genealogists (75-80%). However, a significant number are Government employees looking through departmental files, as well as historians and academics.
Digital Cameras are provided for client use to copy original records. The camera is connected to a computer and images can be downloaded with a memory stick. For more information click on this State Records Guide: Guidelines for using digital cameras and scanners in the reading room.