Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP)

The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) is a collection of historical material relating to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific dating from 1560 to 1984.

Colonial Office (PRO Series)

The Colonial Office was the Department responsible for the administration of the Crown colonies and constitutes the largest group of records filmed by the AJCP.

Despatches between the Colonial Office in London and the Colonial Governors are of most interest, detailing all aspects of colonial life. Governor’s despatches include:

  • statistical returns
  • land dealings
  • crimes
  • lists of convicts
  • returns of officers
  • reports of officials
  • letters and petitions from private individuals.

The Colonial Office in London also received petitions from individuals seeking to emigrate to the Australian colonies, obtain land grants, and be reunited with a convict wife or husband.


Colonial Office handbook

Use the Colonial Office Handbook to locate Colonial Office classes that list and describe records relevant to your research.

Print copies of the handbook are also available in the Library at the Family History and Special Collections Desks:


Colonial Office finding aid

Browse the Colonial Office Finding Aid to locate Classes of records and view digitised documents relevant to your research.

Alternatively, select from the following list, a popular Class of Colonial Office (CO) records.

(For a quick view of all Colonial Office Classes see the Colonial Office Handbook Contents List)

Popular Classes of Colonial Office Records:

Australasian Colonies Original Correspondence (including Governors’ Despatches)

Emigration Records

Maps and Plans

Did you know...?

The AJCP contains a large collection of records from Pacific Island countries.

As well as the six Australian colonies, there are extensive records documenting the administration of New Zealand, New Guinea and Fiji, among other former British colonies and dominions.

Volume 1: New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, ca. 1892-1950