Colonial Secretary - State Records Office of Western Australia

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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
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
CSO correspondence
1829-1878
1878-1883
1883 -1973
Chronological order, then
subject by year from 1838
Record series 2941
Subject file system
Annual number files
on microfilm
Record series 675
on microfilm
Outwards letterbooks
1829 – 1899
Record series 2755
on microfilm
original files
Outwards letters &
telegrams
included in annual
number files from 1895
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.
Colonial Secretary
INWARDS CORRESONDENCE 1878 – 1883
• SROWA Accession 527
• Alphabetical file list in AN 24
• Accessible on 35mm film
Colonial Secretary
Post 1883 Correspondence
• SROWA accession 527 1883 to 1900
From 1895 outward correspondence included on files
• SROWA Accession 752
1901 – 1973
• SROWA Accession 1597 1947 – 1974
• Record Series 675
• Files listed online - 1883 to 1902 & 1911 to 1974
Outward Correspondence
• Record series 2755 1829 – 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
Original Indexes & Registers
to CSO correspondence
Indexes :
Nominal and subject
Registers : Numerical
Original inwards
correspondence
survived largely intact
to 1883
Registers & Indexes
before 1902 on 16mm
microfiche
Registers 1906-1918
on 35 mm microfilm
Important to check
indexes and registers to
identify original post
1883 correspondence
Card register to
Departmental files
1924-1949
CSO Correspondence
Indexes & Registers
CSO Index
Correspondence received – sample page
CSO File Register 1907
Colonial Secretary- Other File Series
• Confidential Files - Cons 1172
Record series 4934
1884 -1889
• Censorship files - Cons 4569
Record series 995
1947 -1984
• ‘Unregistered files - Record series 4934
Cons 1816: 1831 to 1907 (mainly 1880 - 1900)
Cons 1175: 1930s to 1950s
• Record Item Results
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, 1828- 1918
Unregistered correspondence
Registered ‘Confidential files’ 1884-1899, Confidential letter book 1871-78
Outwards correspondence – Guardian of Juvenile Migrants 1843-1852,
Rottnest Island 1871-1892, Convict letter books 1851-1868
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 1860 -1887
Rottnest 1876 -1892
Volumes available in SRO search room
• ‘Far From Home’
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
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 1905.
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 1883-1903, and 1910 -1976.
CSO file 1895/0823 - reference to
‘a war of extermination’
Colonial Secretary
1895
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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
Title ‘Colonial Secretary’ retained 1902
Colonial Secretary Department
1909
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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
STATE RECORDS OFFICE
AUSTRALIA
OF
WESTERN
Colonial Secretary
1915
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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
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STATE RECORDS OFFICE
AUSTRALIA
Shortcut to FremAIF01_001.JPG.lnk
OF
WESTERN
Chief Secretary
1926
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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
Chief Secretary’s Department
1935
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Registrar General & Government Statistician
Harbour & Light Department
Mental Hospitals
Gaols
Astronomical Services
State Shipping Service
Aborigines
State Saw Mills
Wyndham Meat Works
State Hotels
Chief Secretary 1955
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Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages &
Government Statistician
Prisons
Astronomical Services
Harbour and Light Department
Medical & Public Health
Correspondence Despatch Office (CDO)
Chief Secretary 1980
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Prisons
Astronomical Services
Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages
Licensing Court
Correspondence Despatch Office
CSO file 1919/2294 Entertainments
Appointment of a Censor
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