About the State Archives Collection

The NSW State Archives Collection documents the daily work of the NSW Government and its agencies from 1788 to today.

With more than 14 million items, it is the largest collection of records relating to the history of NSW, its environment and the lives of its people.

The collection includes a diverse range of items and formats, such as letters, files, photographs, maps, posters, film, video and e-records. In physical terms, it currently amounts to 89 linear kilometres, increasing by more than 2 kilometres every year. The collection is located primarily at Kingswood in Western Sydney.

Collection items are equally diverse in the nature of their significance and the stories they hold. From local school records to royal commissions, divorce papers to shipping registers, criminal trials to adoption records, the collection tracks through time the myriad interconnections between public agencies and private lives. The collection is one of the most complete records of the process of colonisation, and includes a number of items inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

Government records become part of the State Archives Collection if they have been assessed as having enduring value. This process is regulated through legislation to ensure government accountability, transparency and public access.

Black and white photo of clerks working at desks in an office, surrounded by large ledgers and pigeon holes and paperwork

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Visit us

State Archives Reading Room, Kingswood

Virtual tour

Explore the Western Sydney Records Centre, the home of some of NSW’s most significant architectural and design collections