Welcome to State Library Victoria's guide to the Australian Joint Copying Project.
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) is a collection of government and administrative material relating to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific covering the period 1560 to 1984. The collection includes correspondence, registers, reports and other documents and is a primary source for the history of Australia's settlement and government by Great Britain. Commencing in 1945, the project microfilmed documents from the British government departments with direct connection to activities in the colonies. These records can be very helpful for exploring your family history.
The National Library digitising project (2017-2020) digitised over 8.2 million microfilm images and converted over 10,000 pages of descriptive text of this vast collection, which are now available online through Trove, Library catalogues and search engines.
There are a few things to bear in mind when using the handbooks and documents themselves:
These records reflect Australia in a historical context and the information within may not reflect current understanding. Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that these records may contain information which may be considered culturally sensitive and may cause distress, including names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Islander people now deceased.
More on the AJCP.
The AJCP is divided into 2 series:
The Public Records Office, London (now The National Archives of the UK) series includes mainly the records of the Colonial Office and Dominion Office. Almost half the AJCP records are taken up by dispatches, correspondence, letter books and registers, dating from 1788 to 1951 of these two departments.
Board of Customs
Board of Longitude
Board of Trade
British Transport Commission
Exchequer and Audit Department
Maps and Plans
Ministry of Labour
The Miscellaneous (M) Series includes largely non-government records - from individuals and organisations.
Understanding the terminology and record hierarchy can help with identifying what you will find where, and with deciphering your results.
Fonds - a group of documents that share the same origin and that have occurred naturally as an outgrowth of the daily workings of an agency, individual, or organization. e.g. General records of the War Office and predecessors and successors 1789-1858.
Series - the main grouping of records with a common function or subject, e.g. registers, unnumbered papers, correspondence.
Sub-series - a further grouping under series level.
Piece - a folder, file, volume or box of documents.
Item - can be a page or a bundle, stored within a piece.
Child - an item, or group of items at the next level below.
More here: National Archives - Glossary for discovery
Amanda Bevan. Tracing your ancestors in the National Archives