The collection in Sydney
The oldest document in the National Archives' collection held in Sydney is a Deed of Title signed on 1 May 1804 by Governor Philip Gidley King. The deed allows the allotment of land in Pitts Row (now Pitt Street) to be transferred to Matthew Kearns for 14 years. This site later became the 'Pitt Street Extension' of the Sydney General Post Office.
Other highlights of the collection include:
- New South Wales post office records dating from the 1830s
- plans and drawings of post offices, customs houses, army and navy establishments
- plans and drawings of Government House, Sydney, dating from the 1860s, including original coloured drawings by the Colonial Architect James Barnet
- NSW colonial trademark records from the 1860s
- copyright records from the 1870s
- meteorological journals of the Government Observatory, Parramatta, from 1822 to 1836
- records of the Cockatoo Island dockyard from the 1860s
- records of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine from the 1930s.
The New South Wales Office also holds a wealth of audio-visual material, including:
- the ABC archive of radio and television. Dating back to 1905, the archive has such gems as Prime Minister Ben Chifley's declaration of peace on 15 August 1945 and the opening night of ABC TV in 1956
- master materials from the Film Australia Library and Commonwealth Film Unit
- the Department of Defence collection from the Army, Royal Australian Air Force, Navy and Defence Science and Technology Organisation
- collections from the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Authority, the Antarctic Division and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
- collections of significant Commonwealth Persons including Harold Holt and Paul Keating.
Our Research Centre is open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. We are closed on public holidays.
Bookings can be made for the Research Centre to view pre-ordered records. Please complete an advance request for records and we will contact you to confirm your booking.
- Sessions are available for either 10:00 am to 1:00 pm or 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm.
- As a COVID-19 health and safety measure, the number of people allowed in the Research Centre at once is capped. Researchers will be asked to leave the Research Centre between 1:00 and 1:30 pm while we undertake additional cleaning.
- You will need to nominate a visit time and date (or times for a whole day). We will confirm your visit date with you. If you are visiting as a pair or group please let us know.
- At this time, we are only accepting visits to view records. If you have a query about the collection, please ask us a question online.
- You will require a $2 coin to operate our public lockers.
- Please be advised that we may need to close for cleaning at short notice if a COVID case is notified.
Current COVID arrangements:
- The National Archives (NSW) manages its COVID-19 requirements based on NSW Health COVID-19 guidelines.
- Masks and checking in using QR code COVID Safe check-in | Service NSW are no longer required by NSW Health when you visit us.
- However, please feel free to wear a mask and check-in for your own wellbeing.
- If you are feeling unwell please postpone your visit. We would love to see you when you are feeling better.
Find out more about the COVID-19 health and safety measures we have put in place.
Entry to the National Archives is free.
Parking is available for visitors to the National Archives.
All public areas of the National Archives are wheelchair accessible.
A toilet with disabled facilities is located near the Research Centre.
Visitors with recognised assistance animals, including guide and hearing dogs, are welcome.
The nearest railway station is Chester Hill, a walk of 15 to 20 minutes. Trains travel to and from Chester Hill Station on the Liverpool via Bankstown and Liverpool via Regents Park lines.
Bus route M91 operates to and from Chester Hill, Granville and Parramatta railway stations. Nearby bus stops on Campbell Hill Road are at Moora and Biara Streets, a 5 minutes walk to the National Archives.
There is a taxi rank at the Chester Hill railway station.
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