Collections on Tour 2024

Museums of History NSW is on the road again, sharing our stories with the people of regional NSW.

Making Home: A Short History of Houses, Interiors and Gardens in NSW

Learn about the history of houses, interiors and gardens in NSW and explore material relevant to your locality. Drawing on our rich collections, our experts will deliver illustrated presentations followed by a Q and A. There will also be an opportunity for you to view original material from the Caroline Simpson Library, the State Archives Collection and our museum collections.

Talk schedule

Wages Paid to the Irish Orphans, 1849–51

To celebrate National Family History Month in August, our experts will be travelling to Bathurst, Yass, Goulburn and the Central Coast to share stories about some of the 4,100 young Irish women who came to Australia between 1848 and 1850 as part of Earl Grey’s Famine Orphan Scheme.

Recruited from workhouses in Ireland, the women became an integral part of the workforce in their adopted country. The register of wages paid to orphans from 1849–1851 is a key source in researching the stories of many Irish girls and women who arrived in NSW under the scheme. It contains details of the orphans, their employers and the wages paid.

Join our archivists for an illustrated presentation about these Irish women and take advantage of this rare opportunity to view the original register from the State Archives Collection.

Talk schedule

About Collections on Tour

Collections on Tour is an annual program that brings items from the MHNSW Collections to regional NSW.

In 2023 the program toured a selection of the spectacular Carrington Albums to eight locations across NSW: Bathurst, Dubbo, Grafton, Kiama, Maitland, Mudgee, Orange and Port Macquarie. The Carrington Albums, 14 bound albums of illuminated addresses, greetings, pictures and well-wishes from hundreds of residents, towns and groups from across the state were presented to Lord Carrington in 1890 as a memento of his time as governor of NSW. The albums were selected to include material of local interest to each tour location, where the public had the opportunity to listen to a talk and view the selected albums.

Paintings from the Lord Carrington Address showing landscape and local fauna vignettes

Carrington albums – illuminated addresses

On 2nd January 2014 State Records NSW received 22 Presentation albums from the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom

In the collection

Directions for making a will, from a 1929 probate file

Probate packets: what the files can tell you

Probate packets hold the last will and testament, codicils, an inventory of assets of the estate, affidavits of death and other papers


Plans of public buildings

A sample of digitised building plans showing gaols, hospitals, pilot stations, post and telegraph offices, schools and tramways

Deceased estate file listing contents in the house

Deceased estates: what the files can tell you

We hold over 570,000 deceased estate files for the years 1880 to 1958. The Stamp Duties Office created a file for every person who died leaving property or other assets ('estates'), which were subject to death duties

screenshot of digitised theatre file showing plan of seating

Theatres & public halls: what the files can tell you

Theatres and public halls had to be licensed from 1895. They were owned by private individuals, businesses, religious organisations, community groups and councils and they were used for many purposes – dances; social gatherings; showing movies; live entertainment and skating (roller and ice)