SRO joins the memory of the world

Marnie Richardson Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 16:04

In 2000, Australia was the first country to establish a Memory of the World program with UNESCO with the vision that the world's documentary heritage belongs to everyone.  The program has since grown to include more than 60 countries and an extraordinary variety of documents illustrating the story of humankind which will remain preserved, protected and permanently accessible to all.

In May, State Archivist Cathrin Cassarchis was presented with a certificate acknowledging the inscription of the Convict Records of Western Australia 1838-1910 by the Australian Memory of the World Committee, together with those of New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania.  These records detail the forced emigration to Western Australia of over 9,000 convicts and now sit alongside other treasures such as the original scores of Beethoven, the Magna Carta and the Diary of Anne Frank.

There are a considerable number of records relating to the convict system held by the State Records Office including transportation lists, correspondence, medical journals and staff records.  The State Records Office also holds a number of tickets of leave for those convicts lucky enough to be freed to seek employment.

You will find a listing of the relevant records in our convict records collection webpage or by searching for the archives through our online catalogue

All of WA's Convict Records have been microfilmed and can be accessed by visiting the State Records Office of WA between 10am – 4.30pm Tues - Fri.