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:
NSW post office records dating from 1830s; and
NSW plans and drawings of post offices, customs houses, army and navy establishments, and Government House Sydney dating from 1860s including original coloured drawings by the Colonial Architect James Barnet.
Also included are:
NSW colonial trademark records from the 1860s and copyright records from the 1870s;
NSW 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; and
sound and moving image collections including Damien Parer’s Kokoda Front Line, Prime Minister Ben Chifley’s declaration of peace on 15 August 1945, decimal currency television and radio commercials, and the ABC’s Seven Little Australians.
The Sydney Office holds over 25 shelf kilometres of audiovisual material including material from the Australian Broadcasting Commision/ Corporation, Screen Australia, the Australian Film Television and Radio School, the Department of Defence and significant Commonwealth Persons including Prime Ministers.