Yes, if you can’t get to our Research Centre to view an original record, you can request a record to be copied through our in-house digitisation service.

You will need to provide exact references for the record you want copied, including the GRS/GRG/MRG number and any file, volume or folio numbers. In many instances, you can find these references by viewing our Online Indexes.

You can request a copy of a record via our online enquiry form or by emailing us at Once you have provided exact references a copying quote and online payment options will be emailed to you.

Yes, some of our most popular records are available to view online. See our Online Records webpage for more information on where these online copies can be viewed.

State Records collection can be searched via our Discover our Collection webpage which includes information about some of most popular subjects and record types.

You can also search the hard copy original records in our collection via our catalogue ArchivesSearch. Using ArchivesSearch describes how to find records in the archive.

You do not need to login to search the catalogue. Further information about using the catalogue can be found on the Using ArchivesSearch webpage.

People of Aboriginal descent can use the records in our collection to find information about family members. This can be helpful when families have been separated as a result of past government policies.

Our Aboriginal Access Services describes how we can help.  Contact our Aboriginal Access Team via our enquiry form or by emailing

Records about Supreme, District and Magistrate's court cases are typically restricted from general public access for 100 years to 31 December from the last year noted in the record. For access to any court records from with the past 100 years you will need to contact the relevant court directly. Sentencing remarks, judgements and coronial findings can be found on the website of the Courts Administration Authority.

Further information about historic and open access court records can be found on the Courts webpage or by searching our catalogue.

Often detailed information about court cases can be found in newspapers. Digital copies of newspapers can be accessed on Trove.

Records relating to adoptions are restricted from general public access.

To request permission to access a restricted record either about yourself or a family member, please contact Past Adoption Services at the Department for Child Protection.

Records relating to children in care are restricted from general public access for 100 years to 31 December from the last year noted in the record.

We have records of children in care, and a range of Health and Welfare records.

To request permission to access a record from the past 100 years about either yourself or a family member, you will need to make a Freedom of Information application to the Department for Child Protection. The Department for Child Protection’s website has further information about requesting care leaver information.

State Records does not hold detailed medical records. For access to your own medical records you will need to contact the hospital directly or the local health network operating the hospital. Further information about the accessing medical records as well as a list of SA Health’s local health networks is available on the SA Health Freedom of Information webpage.

For private hospital records, try the hospital itself or a corporate body to which the hospital belongs. Records of closed private hospitals may have been provided to the purchaser or managing corporation.

For information about historic hospital admission records held in the State Records collection, see our Hospitals webpage.

Records created by courts, such as probate files and associated wills, are typically restricted from general public access for 100 years to 31 December from the last year noted in the record.

For access to probate records from within the last 100 years you will need to contact CourtsSA. Records from 1980 can be accessed online via CourtsSA (requires a login) and records pre 1980 require a request to CourtsSA.

Further information and some searchable indexes about probate records and other records relating to the administration of succession duties (death duties) can be found on Probate and Succession Duties.

All the passenger lists in our collection dating from 1845 to 1940 as well as name indexes can be viewed on our Passenger Lists webpage.

The South Australian Maritime Museum have produced a thorough research guide to tracing our ancestor’s voyage to South Australia. This guide provides a list online sources where other passenger lists can be found.

There are several online resources which can help establish where someone lived including the South Australian almanacs and directories and also online Certificates of Title available through SAILIS.

Further information about searching land and property history is available on our House or Property History webpage.

As a government archive, State Records’ holdings relating to private organisations are focussed on records collected where those organisations interacted with government agencies. We do not hold records relating to private organisations and businesses.

Company files in our collection typically include documents that were lodged by the company to the government. These files may contain memorandums of agreement, certificates of incorporation and lists of company directors.

Further information about records of companies, including some online indexes, is available at Companies.

Research Centre

The Research Centre is open by appointment only. Appointments can be booked online via Eventbrite. Bookings are subject to availability.

Make sure to Plan Your Visit ahead of time and pre-order the records you would like to view.

Records you wish to order can be emailed to us once an online booking is secured. Once you have booked an appointment, instructions are provided advising you how to email your order.

Full and accurate references are required when sending an order and orders must be submitted at least 24 hours before an appointment.

Yes, if you want to photograph a record in the Research Centre you can photograph it with your own camera or phone or use one of the devices in our Research Centre to take a copy. Remember to bring a USB flash drive if you would like to use our devices so you can save a copy for yourself.

You can bring notepads, computers, cameras, phones, pencils.

You cannot bring in pens, bags, food and drinks (including water). Lockers are available to place your belongings in and small kitchen has cold water as well as a small fridge and microwave.

State Records does not offer a research service and do not view original records on behalf of a researcher.

These fee-based research services are available:

These research services are not State Records employees.

Your local library or history group may also be able to help with your research or provide you with access to some family history resources.

Copyright and citation of records

From 1 January 2019, Crown copyright expires on most government-made works after 50 years, whether they are published or unpublished. Works made by individuals, businesses or local government agencies, and which have been archived to State Records’ collection, may be covered under a longer period of copyright.

For an explanation of copyright as it applies to government records in the archive see Copyright.

A full guide to citing records from State Records collection, including examples of full and brief citations is available at Citation.

Page last updated: 8 September 2022