Archives Outside

For people who love, use and manage archives

Archives Outside - For people who love, use and manage archives

What can we do you for?

Right now we are in the midst of a major planning phase for Archives Outside in 2011. There are a lot of great surprises on the way! However, before we get too far ahead of ourselves we thought we’d throw the floor open to you and ask you what you want.


Moments in Time……

What would you like to see from our photographic seriesĀ Can you date?

More content from regional NSW?

More photos from metropolitan Sydney?


What are the types of things you’d like to see written up as tips or advice?

Other topics

Is there a topic/issue you’d like us to address?

Regional NSW

Would you like more content from regional NSW?

Guest post

Would you like to make a guest post?

The ball is in your court

As my English teacher once said “having a conversation is like a game of tennis, you have to hit the ball back to play”.

  • Jim Belshaw says:

    I would like to see:
    1. More information on particular records systems. For example, a description of cabinet records. I found them very fragmentary.
    2. More Hunter Valley & North Coast material. That would help me in the writing I am now doing.

    I would be happy to do a guest post from time to time. I have a fair collection of material, some of which would be of broader interest.

    January 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm
  • Melissa says:

    Thanks for providing us with the opportunity to comment.

    I have really enjoyed the ‘Can You Date’ series both on this site and the flickr account. I would like to see heaps more photos made available and, like Jim, I would be particularly interested in photos from the Hunter Valley & North Coast of NSW.

    In terms of other items, I would be really interested in a couple of posts from Archives staff describing what they do (like a ‘day in the life of …’) and the techniques they use in accessing and storing records. Perhaps even an account of how changes in technology have impacted upon archival work.

    Anyway, keep up the great work!

    January 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm
  • Fiona Sullivan says:

    Thanks for the feedback Jim, it is much appreciated!

    1. When you ask for more information about records systems do you mean information about how different types of systems worked (e.g. top file numbering systems) or information about the records of a particular agency and why there are gaps etc. ?

    We would love to have you as a guest poster, if you would like to discuss this you can either use the “contact us” form on the blog or email us directly. Most staff members at State Records can be reached using the following formula for email addresses:

    We will definitely take on board your request for more Hunter Valley/North coast material. It is such a rich area for NSW history it would be a shame not to feature it more.

    January 24, 2011 at 9:31 am
  • Fiona Sullivan says:

    Melissa, thanks so much for taking the time to let us know what you are interested in seeing on the blog.

    Making more photographs available is definitely a long term goal for State Records. With the celebrations of State Records 50th Anniversary our crack digitisation team are much in demand at the moment. The good news is that this will give us the opportunity to feature some of the gems held in collections of the members of our Regional Repository network. A number of them been embarking on digitisation programs of their own and the results are stunning.

    Your request for more posts from staff about their jobs and “A Day in the life of” is a great one and mirrors some of the offline feedback we received. This is something that we have been talking about amongst ourselves as well. We are lucky to have access to a lot of expertise here, however, one of our biggest challenges has been that the people with that expertise are very busy and don’t have the time to contribute. We think we’ve come up with a fun way to get around that so stay tuned!

    January 24, 2011 at 11:03 am
  • William Oates says:

    The UNE and Regional Archives does have a couple of good collections of North Coast photographs. Whatever we have is only a fraction of the wonderful glass plate collection held by Kempsey. We will provide State Records with a choice of our material as well as responding to any specific research requests.

    January 25, 2011 at 10:08 am
  • Jim Belshaw says:

    Fiona, I will follow up with you re guest post. In the meantime, I have brought up a companion post –

    January 26, 2011 at 9:05 am
  • Bob Meade says:

    I enjoy and learn from everything you put up here, thanks.

    My request is a slight variation of Melissa’s. Not to overburden your wider team, but I would like to know from a range of people who work directly with archival material what is their favourite item and why.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm
  • Anthea Brown says:

    Hi Bob, thanks for your kind words! Good suggestion: we are hoping to continue our “Staff Picks” this year; perhaps we should start with our Public Access team who help researchers access the records everyday.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm
  • Fiona Sullivan says:

    @William Oates thanks very much for that. We will be in touch!

    January 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm
  • Fiona Sullivan says:

    Thanks very much for the thought provoking companion post @Jim Belshaw. I’ve posted a response here:

    February 1, 2011 at 9:46 am
  • Jim Belshaw says:

    Thank you for the comment Fiona. I will bring your comments up in one or two main posts to get them better visability.

    February 1, 2011 at 8:48 pm
  • Jim Belshaw says:

    First companion post following Fiona’s very helpful comments.

    February 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm
  • Jim Belshaw says:

    This time with link –

    February 3, 2011 at 4:20 pm
  • Jim Belshaw says:

    Second and last companion post –

    February 4, 2011 at 11:25 am
  • Fiona Sullivan says:

    @JimBelshaw I tried to post this information on your blog however, I kept getting an error message. If you’re interested in general in the administrative history of NSW, these two volumes commissioned by State Records NSW could be of interest. That’s not a gratuitous plug I swear ;-). I’m sure you will be able to get them in through your Local Library.

    Thanks also for sharing some of your background research history. As an Archivist I always love to hear about people tracking down original sources.

    February 9, 2011 at 9:42 am
  • Jim Belshaw says:

    Thanks, Fiona. Will follow up. Will also email you direct on a couple of other matters.

    February 10, 2011 at 9:45 am
  • Doreen Lyon says:

    a considerable amount of archival information is currently held in volunteer museums and historical societies such as ours but very little assitance is on offer for helping with cataloguing and or digitisation. Is there any way that State Records can assist or suggestions for releasing student archivists to work in small museums on cataloguing archives or digitisation projects?

    February 18, 2011 at 9:30 am
  • Fiona Sullivan says:

    @Doreen Lyon Thanks for your comment. State records does provide advice and guidance to community archives on request. I will email you offblog so that you can follow up with any queries you may have.

    The issue of getting access to student archivists in NSW is a little trickier since the main course for Archivists at UNSW has folded. However, I believe Charles Sturt University is now offering a course and there a number of universities in other states that offer training in Archives by distance education so it may well be worth getting in touch with them. Recordkeeping in Brief 1 provides information about the courses and who is offering what.

    February 21, 2011 at 9:38 am