The Society's collection of archive material covers pamphlets, journals from local and family history organisations, family papers, manuscript documents (such as deeds and letters), an extensive photographic collection, original material from business, societies and organisations, and schools such as The King's, All Saints', St Stanislaus and Kelso.
Items in the collection such as papers and books relating to business, societies and organisations, and newspapers dating from 1848, mainly relate to the district of Bathurst. One should also keep in mind such facts that businesses often had branches in other cities or towns and the Bathurst newspaper was the one for the Central West with its news from different centres, obituaries, death and birth notices, mining news, coroner's reports, court cases, etc... There are also many family and local histories that extend well outside the district.
There are items such as telephone books, censuses or musters, directories, electoral rolls (both State and Commonwealth), trade and property directories, gazetteers and locality indexes. It also has a very comprehensive map collection, which includes town plans and maps, topographical, military, parish and archived maps. These mainly relate to Bathurst but also cover some other areas within the State. Also housed within the "Vertiplan" are family tree charts that are too large to be placed in the 'A4 filing system'.
Specifically relating to the district are interment records, undertakers records, cemetery transcripts. It also holds some Bathurst Rate and Assessment Books and Council Letterbooks.
Also held is the Historical Register of Australia which was a Bicentennial Project where registrations of materials held of significant local and family nature were acknowledged in a register with their location.
The Society also holds the Pioneer, Federation and Between the Wars Indexes to Births, Deaths and Marriages in New South Wales, the NSW Supreme Court Probate Index and can arrange CD-ROM searches for births, deaths and marriages in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.
The Society has three microfiche, two microfilm readers, photocopier and microfiche/film printer to cater at reasonable cost for the needs of the many researchers who use its facilities.
On hand on a Tuesday to help any researchers are the 'Research Team' volunteers in the Research Room with a wide variety of talents and historical knowledge. We have people researching breweries, buildings, monuments, street names, descendants of particular regions (Cornish, lace makers, particular ships...), history of local areas, historical records, bushrangers, businesses, the local water supply system and much more. Members can do their own research but you can fill in a 'request for research' form to pay our 'Research Team' volunteers to do the research for you.
On any day the museum is open you can access the computer index of all the archival holdings by name and subject on our self-help computer to allow the public to do fundamental research. You can access our library of major publications about our region's history to begin your research and see what we have.
Tuesdays 10.00am to 4.00 pm (subject to Research Team volunteer/s availability.) Archives Computer Index and local reference books are accessible whenever the museum is open for initial research.
Archive Rooms Entry Fee:
$30.00 per day (free to Society members)
THE READING ROOM
For the personal researcher the reading room has two microfiche and two microfilm readers, with a photocopy and microfilm copy service available for a modest fee. This service is free to members.