Convict arrivals, 1788-1842Index to probationary convicts to Sydney and Moreton Bay, 1849-1850Assize Courts, 1775-1853Criminal entry books,
1786-1871 (HO 13)
Criminal entry books,
1850-1871 (HO 25)
Criminal registers, England &
Wales, 1805-1868 (HO 27 Series 2)
Criminal registers for Middlesex, 1791–1849 (HO 26 Series 1)Quarter Sessions Court
records, 1723-1878
List of Quarter Sessions Court
records held at the Library 
Session records of the Old Bailey, 1815-1849 (HO 16)The National Archives (UK) -
Petitions for mercy, 1784-1830
Prison commission prison books, 1816-1866 (PCOM 2)Prison records held in the miscellaneous series of the AJCP for England and Wales, 1723-1878List of Quarter Sessions Court
and UK prison records held at the Library
Quarterly returns of convicts in gaols and hulks, 1824-1876 (HO 8)Transportation lists, 1829-1840Treasury Board hulk returns, 1783–1803 (T1)UK Prison hulk registers & letter books, 1802-1849 (HO 9)Chronological list of hulksHulk records explainedLog of logsMusters and other papers
relating to convict ships, 1790-1849
Ships card indexSurgeons' journals, 1816-1856
This is the "About the guide" page of the "Convicts: Bound for Australia" guide.
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About the guide Print Page

Getting started

A Fleet of Transports under Convoy (c.1788)
Digital order number: a128083

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.

Not sure how to begin? Check out getting started with your convict research.

You may also need to 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.

And don't forget you will need to sign up for a Library card to use many of our resources. Icons next to each resource show where you can use them.

In the Library, or anywhere with a Library card icon In the Library, or anywhere if you are a NSW resident with a Library card
Only in the Library Only in the Library
Publicly available 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 Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room. This is where you will find most of our family history resources. We also have resources in the Special Collections area in the Mitchell Library 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.


Opening hours

Reading room opening hours
Monday to Thursday 9 am to 8 pm
Friday 9 am to 5 pm
Weekends 10 am to 5 pm

The Special Collections area is closed on Sundays.

Opening hours may vary on public holidays. View opening hours.


Contact us

State Library of NSW
Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000
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