Request a Free History Record Search
We respect the privacy of past attendees and their families.
Identification and signed permissions are required before information is disclosed.
About Requesting Historical Records
This is a free service for past attendees and families
We respect the privacy of past attendees and their families. All requests for information requires proof of identification and consent.
Our historical records comprise a vast resource of thousands of individual and collective records of children and mothers who spent time in the facility. Our historical records (1874–2002) are stored at the State Library NSW and are inaccessible to the public for privacy reasons. The Infants’ Home provides a free records search service for past attendees.
Records about people who spent time at The Infants’ Home are traditionally not confined to ‘individual’ files. Documented information about a person is most often spread across interconnected sets of records, and a person’s ‘file’ comprises extracts brought together from a number of different records.
The vast majority of records kept are admission and discharge registers containing information about a child, their family, how they came into care, and hopefully information about their experiences in care.
Other records include:
- Matron’s report
- Annual reports
- Committee meeting minutes
- Financial records such as receipts for maintenance payments or reimbursements.
We are in the process of digitising and indexing our records, however most are the original paper-based records.
How to lodge a record request
Please complete the form on this page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Requests via mail
Postal requests can be made via mail to:
17 Henry Street Ashfield
Respecting the privacy to requested records
Once a request for past records is received we will send you a letter via email and/or post confirming your request and asking for a signed declaration of the request and verified proof of identity.
Once the necessary documents have been received and approved by The Infants’ Home, we will undertake a search of our records and will forward updates by post and/or via email.
Request a record search
Please ensure you provide all the necessary information asked in the form. Our records search staff member will contact you for more information as required, as well as a copy of identification and signed permissions. Click here to read our information and privacy handling policy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the privacy of past attendees and their families protected?
Yes. The privacy of past attendees and their families is protected.
Only once the necessary documents have been received and approved by The Infants’ Home will we undertake a search of our records and forward information.
What can I expect upon a successfully completed record search?
If we are successful in finding your records we will contact you with copies of your records. We will also provide you with a cover letter which details the context of where the records have been sourced.
For example MLMSS 2983 – Volume 25 – Minutes 1918-1919.
If we are unsuccessful in finding any records we will inform you of this and we will provide you with information for possible alternative avenues of research.
Where can I access support?
We understand that care leavers may experience distress or discomfort when reviewing their records of their time in care. There are services available where a support worker can be present with you when you read your records to offer you support and assistance during this time.
Wattle Place, the NSW Support Service for Forgotten Australians
Wattle Place is the NSW Support Service for Forgotten Australians.
Centrally located at Harris Park in Western Sydney, close to rail and bus transport links, Wattle Place provides counselling and a range of other support services for people over the age of 25 who were in out-of-home care in NSW between the 1920s and 1990s, regardless of where they now live. Wattle Place can provide you with advice and support on accessing records about your time in out-of-home care. They can read your records with you and help you interpret them.
Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN)
Care Leavers Australia Network is a support and advocacy group for people and their families who were brought up in homes away from their family — in Australian Orphanages, Children’s Homes or in Foster Care. They may be able to help you obtain your ward file or get information about your home. You can advertise for free in their newsletter to help locate lost family members or to help contact people from your home.