Source Information New South Wales, Australia, Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1930 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.
Original data:

A full list of sources can be found here.

About New South Wales, Australia, Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1930

This collection of gaol description and entrance books from prisons in New South Wales contain two different, but similar, records. The first were kept before the New South Wales government required record keeping. These include records from both Sydney and Darlinghurst gaols (Sydney held prisoners until 1841, when they were transferred to the new gaol at Darlinghurst), as well as Albury (1861–1867), Berrima (1840–1847), Goldburn (1848–1867), Maitland (1860–1867), and Newcastle (1840–1859).

The other series of books started after a proclamation in the New South Wales Government Gazette in 1867 required that description books be kept for incoming and outgoing prisoners. This collection contains books from 12 different prisons, or gaols, in New South Wales. The descriptions include individual records for each prisoner with pictures and personal information used as a detailed prisoner file. This collection contains records from:

  • Albury (1876–1929)
  • Armidale (1894–1915)
  • Bathurst (1874–1930)
  • Berrima (1883–1888)
  • Biloela (1885–1906)
  • Broken Hill (1904–1929)
  • Darlinghurst (1869–1914)
  • Deniliquin (1895–1929)
  • Dubbo (1889–1920)
  • Goulburn (1867–1930)
  • Maitland (1867–1930)
  • Trial Bay (1892–1901)

The earlier books aren’t as detailed and may not contain a photograph, but they will have most important pieces of information. The records may contain the following details:

  • number
  • name
  • aliases
  • date portrait was taken
  • native place
  • birth year
  • ship and year of arrival
  • trade or occupation
  • religion
  • standard of education
  • height
  • entrance and exit weight
  • hair color
  • eye color
  • marks or special features
  • crime
  • trial information
  • details of previous convictions

This collection also contains a few volumes that are indexes to entrance or description books.