Historical archaeology links and resources

Requirements for lodging digital historical archaeological final excavation reports

In 2019 Heritage NSW undertook a program of digitisation of grey literature contained within the Heritage NSW library. The aim of the project was to make the library more publicly accessible.

The library contains an important collection of archaeological reports including archaeological assessments, research designs and excavation methodologies, and final archaeological reports. Many of these were triggered by conditions of consent issued for approvals to manage ‘relics’ under the Heritage Act 1977. 

To ensure customer access to library documents, rapid retrievability and consistency with current Heritage NSW electronic file systems, from now on please provide PDF documents for electronic lodgement via email according to the requirements below. 

Submissions outside of these requirements may not be accepted and may be returned for amendment before being accepted.

Each part of the submission needs to be in a separate document and the maximum file size which can be emailed is 20MB. Files that exceed this email limit can be submitted using Dropbox. Share the link with heritagemailbox@environment.nsw.gov.au

File size capacity is based on existing systems which may change. If a change occurs Heritage NSW will update these requirements.

Final Report (main document)

Individual parts or volumes should be separated.


  1. Artefacts reports (by category where relevant) and Artefact catalogue
  2. Context sheets and context register
  3. Photo log and images separated into parts e.g. Photos 1-20; Photos 21 – 40 etc *
  4. Plans and plan register (including Harris Matrix)
  5. Survey data (if not included in plan data)

Images *

Submit image files in a separate folder in jpg format with a file size no larger than 1000 x 800 jpgs.

The submission of photos as jpg files, needed to satisfy requirements of archival recordings under permit conditions, should be added in a separate folder and identified as an archival record (not for accessioning into the library). These files cannot exceed 1GB. They may not be accessible via the Library catalogue but may be retrieved if needed by contacting an archaeologist at Heritage NSW. 

Approvals issued to disturb relics also contain specific requirement linked to the final reporting which requires that ‘all digital resources (including reports, context and artefact data, scanned field notes, other datasets and documentation) should be lodged with a sustainable, online and open-access repository’. This requirement remains and is separate to the lodgement of the s146 final reporting requirements of the Act.

Reports on archaeological investigations held in the Heritage NSW library

The Heritage NSW library holds copies of many interim and final reports completed as part of archaeological investigations. These reports may be viewed by appointment only at the Heritage NSW Library.

Note: the list below is not exhaustive as it does not include all excavations completed before 2000, or reports currently under review. If you cannot find your site listed, please contact Heritage NSW to check.

You can also view archaeology final reports at your local council library. A copy of each final report submitted to Heritage NSW is lodged with the relevant council.

In addition to final reports, the Heritage NSW Library also holds copies of archaeological studies (archaeological assessments, conservation management plans etc) completed for NSW councils, organisations and private companies.

Museums and school tours

  • The Rocks Discovery Museum: offers a diverse range of educational programs that give primary and secondary students an in-dept insight into the museum, which has unique collection of images and archaeological artefacts found in The Rocks. 
  • Sydney Living Museums conducts school tours and events which regularly include archaeological aspects of their sites. In particular, the Cumberland/Gloucester Street archaeological site will be of interest.
  • National Trust of Australia (NSW) Schools Programs is an excellent resource for school children. The site looks at National Trust sites, some of which have been excavated at different times. Archaeology is also incorporated into some of the site tours.
  • The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust conducts excursions on Cockatoo Island for primary children.