This guide takes you to key resources that document the early life of convicts including their crime, trial and sentence, and confinement in UK prisons or hulks before being transported. It also covers the voyage out to Australia. You will need to sign up for a Library card to use many of our resources.
Use our other research guide Convicts: Life in the colony to find resources about the life of convicts on Australian soil. These include their working life, family life, whether they re-offended and how they won their freedom.
Icons next to each resource show where you can use them.
|In the Library, or anywhere if you are a NSW resident with a Library card|
|Only in the Library|
|Publicly available - you don't need a Library card|
Family history at the Library
You can find our Family history area on Lower Ground 2 of the State Reference Library. This is where you will find most of our family history resources. We also have resources in the Special Collections area of the Mitchell Reading Room and in stack storage. Ask staff for help with your research as well as using our collections.
Find out more about family history at the Library.
Digital order number: a128083
|Reading room opening hours|
|Monday to Thursday||9 am to 8 pm|
|Friday||9 am to 5 pm|
|Weekends||10 am to 5 pm|
|Special Collections and the Mitchell Reading Room are closed on Sundays.|
|Opening hours may vary on public holidays. View opening hours.|
|State Library of NSW
Sydney NSW 2000
|Ask a Librarian|