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How to research Colonial Secretary's Office records in the State Records Office Tom Reynolds Archives Research Officer 4 December 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "How to research Colonial Secretary's Office records in the State Records Office Tom Reynolds Archives Research Officer 4 December 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to research Colonial Secretary's Office records in the State Records Office Tom Reynolds Archives Research Officer 4 December 2014

2 Colonial Secretary Chief Civil Administrator of Colony Member of Executive and Legislative Councils 1832 to 1890 From 1890 a Government Minister. Under Secretary the Departmental Head In September 1925 the Colonial Secretary officially became the Chief Secretary Chief Secretary’s Department abolished 1983



5 CSO correspondence Chronological order, then subject by year from 1838 Record series 2941 on microfilm Subject file system on microfilm Annual number files Record series 675 original files Outwards letterbooks 1829 – 1899 Record series 2755 on microfilm Outwards letters & telegrams included in annual number files from 1895

6 Colonial Secretary Inwards correspondence 1828 – 1878 SROWA Consignment 36 SRO online catalogue - Record series 2941 Correspondence can be viewed on 16mm film Card index compiled of all correspondence 1828 – 1832.



9 Colonial Secretary INWARDS CORRESONDENCE 1878 – 1883 SROWA Accession 527 Alphabetical file list in AN 24 Accessible on 35mm film

10 Colonial Secretary Post 1883 Correspondence SROWA accession to 1900 From 1895 outward correspondence included on files SROWA Accession – 1973 SROWA Accession – 1974 Record Series 675 Files listed online to 1902 & 1911 to 1974

11 Outward Correspondence Record series – 1899 Original Format – bound letter books Access copies on 35mm microfilm 1834 onwards letters arranged in three sequences: Officials, Settlers, Proclamations After 1875, Telegrams included

12 Original Indexes & Registers to CSO correspondence Indexes : Nominal and subject Registers : Numerical Original inwards correspondence survived largely intact to 1883 Important to check indexes and registers to identify original post 1883 correspondence Registers & Indexes before 1902 on 16mm microfiche Registers on 35 mm microfilm Card register to Departmental files

13 CSO Correspondence Indexes & Registers

14 CSO Index Correspondence received – sample page

15 CSO File Register 1907

16 Colonial Secretary- Other File Series Confidential Files - Cons Record series 4934 Censorship files - Cons Record series 995 ‘Unregistered files - Record series 4934 Cons 1816: 1831 to 1907 (mainly ) Cons 1175: 1930s to 1950s

17 Record Item Results

18 Colonial Secretary’s correspondence Manual finding aids Card index 1828 – 1832 (compiled by Battye Library staff) CSO Inventory AN 24: compiled during microfilm project mid 1980s. The inventory provides listings of : –Inwards correspondence to 1883 and outwards letter books to 1899 Indexes and registers to general correspondence, Unregistered correspondence Registered ‘Confidential files’ , Confidential letter book Outwards correspondence – Guardian of Juvenile Migrants , Rottnest Island , Convict letter books

19 Colonial Secretary Aboriginal names in early CSOs Dictionary of WA Aboriginals Committee compiled 1980s Resident Magistrates 1840 – 1859 Guardians of Aborigines 1846 – 1859 Colonial Secretary Rottnest Volumes available in SRO search room ‘Far From Home’

20 Colonial Secretary Miscellaneous Records ‘Mrs Daisy Bates – personal file’ Cons 1023 Register of Naturalizations 1871 to 1903, Records series 1547 Letterbooks: Colonial defence 1889 – 1900 Record series 1412

21 CSO correspondence 1883 – 1983 File subjects reflect change in role of Colonial Secretary./Chief Secretary. CSO was chief public servant prior to self government. After 1890, creation of important agencies; including, Public Works, Mines, Education, & Premier’s Departments; Public Service Commissioner Transfer of functions to Commonwealth during post federation decade some immediate – customs, immigration, postal services, defence, some gradual -- light houses, naturalization, patents From early 1900s CSO responsible for community service agencies e.g. Charities and State wards, Aboriginal welfare, Asylums, Old Mens’ Home Also oversight of Government business agencies – State Shipping, Tourism Files in Record series 675 listed on AEON cover , and

22 CSO file 1895/ reference to ‘a war of extermination’

23 Colonial Secretary 1895 Audit Medical & Central Board of Health Police Gaols Rottnest Establishment Printing Inspection of Stock Observatory Registrar General & Meterological Branch Friendly Societies Charitable Institutions Government Gardens Defences

24 Title ‘Colonial Secretary’ retained 1902

25 Colonial Secretary Department 1909 Aborigines & Fisheries Astronomical Services Registrar of Friendly Societies Charities and State Children Comptroller General of Prisons Government Gardens Harbour & Light Department. Immigration Medical Department Lunacy Commissioner of Police Registrar General and Government Statistician


27 Colonial Secretary 1915 Aborigines, Fisheries & Immigration Astronomical Charities and State Children Friendly Societies Government Gardens Government Printing and Lithography Harbour and Lights Lunacy Medical and Health Registrar General and Government Statistician


29 Chief Secretary 1926 Astronomical Services Correspondence Despatch Office ( CDO) Fisheries Harbour and Lights Labour Bureau Lunacy Medical & Health Prisons Registrar General & Government Statistician State Hotels State Steamship Service

30 Chief Secretary’s Department 1935 Registrar General & Government Statistician Harbour & Light Department Mental Hospitals Gaols Astronomical Services State Shipping Service Aborigines State Saw Mills Wyndham Meat Works State Hotels

31 Chief Secretary 1955 Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages & Government Statistician Prisons Astronomical Services Harbour and Light Department Medical & Public Health Correspondence Despatch Office (CDO)

32 Chief Secretary 1980 Prisons Astronomical Services Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Licensing Court Correspondence Despatch Office

33 CSO file 1919/2294 Entertainments Appointment of a Censor

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