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Identity area

Reference code

AU WA S239




  • 1873 - 1897 (Creation)
  • 1873 - 1897 (Accumulation)

Level of description






Context area

Name of creator

AU WA A42 - DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND SURVEYS (1890-01-01 - 1986-07-01)

Administrative history

The Department of Lands and Surveys was one of the oldest government agencies in Western Australia, having been constituted under the name of the Survey Office in 1829. The Office became the Surveyor-General's Department in 1870 and was organized into two branches - Crown Lands and Surveys. The Department was administered by the Surveyor-General who also held the title of Commissioner of Crown Lands.

The Department was restyled the Crown Lands and Surveys Department in 1873 and, in 1890, the Department of Land and Surveys.

The Department of Lands and Surveys was responsible for the leasing and alienation of Crown Lands (except where mining and forestry tenures were involved*), the reservation of land for public purposes and roads, the surveying and classifying of land, and the exploration and mapping of the State. From its inception, the Department was also active in promoting immigration and settlement, and until 1973 was responsible for administering various Assisted Passage Immigration Schemes.

Immigration remained one of the functions of the Department until 1986, and the Department was responsible for the administration of the Noalimba Reception Centre.

Following a functional review, the Department was reorganized and renamed the Department of Land Administration in 1986.

  • Initially, the Department was responsible for virtually all aspects of land administration, but with the establishment of the Department of Mines (1893) and the Forests Department (1919), it relinquished control of mining and forestry matters.

Name of creator

AU WA A60 - CROWN LANDS AND SURVEYS DEPARTMENT (1873-01-01 - 1890-01-01)

Administrative history

Archival history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Charts of Hydrographic Surveys conducted by Royal Navy vessels off the Western Australian coastline and lodged with the Western Australian Colonial Government between 1875 - 1897. The charts were allotted a registration number upon receipt by the Lands Department.

Information obtained from the surveys recorded on these manuscript charts was despatched to the United Kingdom and plotted on the master Admiralty Charts, which were published as lithographs. Copies of the latter are held within the Battye Library map collections.

The charts were transferred to the Battye Library map collection in 1976 and originally accessioned as 1129C. In the early 1980's they were alloted individual six digit tally numbers.


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Open access

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Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

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Description control area

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Archivist's note

Range Control Symbol = 1 - 71
Copies: Digital copies of app. half of these charts are available online - choose the appropriate Record Item and then click on the link at "Digital Copy". (Remaining charts can be accessed at the State Records Office Search Room).

Accession area