State Records of South Australia

Identity area



Authorized form of name

State Records of South Australia

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name


  • State

Contact area


Executive Officer



Street address

115 Cavan Road, Gepps Cross




South Australia

Country name

Postal code



08 8204 8791


08 8204 8777


Description area


State Records of South Australia is the government archives of South Australia and holds a large part of the state's official documentary heritage. The archive commenced operating in South Australia in 1919, making State Records the oldest government archive in Australia.

We hold records covering almost every facet of state and local government administration within South Australia. Our records therefore provide valuable insight and knowledge about the lives of South Australians. The State Records collection holds many maps, plans, registers, films and photographs, in addition to thousands of documents dating from the earliest days of European settlement to recent times.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

State Records Act 1997 (SA)
Freedom of Information Act 1991 (SA)
Information Privacy Principles (SA).

Administrative structure

State Records is a business unit of the State Attorney-General's Department.

State Records comprises a Director and three operational teams (Information Governance, Archive and Operations and Improvement). Each team is headed by a Manager who is supported by various professional and administrative staff.

Records management and collecting policies

Official custodian for official, permanent value records of South Australian government, statutory authorities and local government bodies. Records transferred when no longer in current administrative use or when more than 15 years old.



Official records of state and local government and statutory bodies including:

  • Department of Lands: Immigrant ships' papers, 1849-1885; Lists of assisted immigrants, 1845-1886; Various, c1835-1985; Various lands records, journals, correspondence, 1834-1850.
  • Hospitals Department: Admission registers, 1840-1926; Various, c1848-1982.
  • Destitute Persons Department: Registers of admissions, 1870-1924.
  • Attorney General's Department: Coroner's reports from police, 1879-1910.
  • Corporate Affairs (ASC): Various, c1884-1991.
  • Engineering and Water Supply Department: Various, c1860-1990.
  • Police Department: Various, c1838-1980.
  • Governor's Office: Letters patent, 1836;
  • Governor Hindmarsh's Commission, 1836.
  • Colonial Secretary's Office: Correspondence, 1836-1856.
  • Colonisation Commissioners: Despatches, 1836-1847.
  • Education Department: School admission registers, c1870-1996.

Finding aids, guides and publications

  • Fact Sheets:
  • Guide to Records Relating to Aboriginal People, 1836- (5 volumes)
  • Guide to Records Relating to Women, 1836- (5 volumes)
  • Guide to Records Relating to People of Non-English Speaking Backgrounds, 1836-
  • Ancestors in archives: a guide for family history historians to South Australia's government archives
  • A little flour and a few blankets: an administrative history of Aboriginal affairs in South Australia, 1834-2000
  • Aboriginal Resource Kit
  • Distant Voices (DVD) (relates to Aboriginal history)
  • Whose Land is it Anyway (set of original documents).

Access area

Opening times

Access conditions and requirements


Services area

Research services

Reproduction services

Public areas

Research Centre, 115 Cavan Road, Gepps Cross SA 5094

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised 13 April 2018




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (Thematic area)
  • Agriculture (Thematic area)
  • Built Environment (Thematic area)
  • Education (Thematic area)
  • Environment (Thematic area)
  • Family / Domestic Life (Thematic area)
  • Genealogical (Thematic area)
  • Geography (Thematic area)
  • Immigration (Thematic area)
  • Indigenous (Thematic area)
  • Law and Justice (Thematic area)
  • Local Studies (Thematic area)
  • Natural Resources (Thematic area)
  • Out of Home Care (Thematic area)
  • Politics and Government (Thematic area)
  • Transportation (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

115 Cavan Road, Gepps Cross
Adelaide, South Australia 5094