With the increased delivery of land records online and the need to preserve Crown plans, Land and Property Information (LPI) has decided to close its Bridge Street Plan Room to public access from 24 February 2012.
The plan room, located in the old Department of Lands building, 23 -33 Bridge Street, Sydney, has housed the state’s collection of original Crown plans since the 1880s. Many of the plans are very old and there was a risk of losing the priceless intellectual property they contain.
Since 2007 LPI has been undertaking a major program to conserve the Crown plans, scan the records as high quality colour images viewable online and to transfer the plans (as state records) to State Records NSW. Once transferred to State Records the original plans will be managed in accordance with their status as state archives.
More than 90 percent of the Bridge Street Crown plans are now accessible online in colour and the originals transferred. Many of the remaining plans in Bridge Street are fragile and will need to undergo conservation prior to scanning and archival.
Access to the records
Crown plans date back to the commencement of European settlement and have an important heritage and commercial value. The records are regularly accessed for historical purposes and many plans are current, supporting land title in NSW.
The Crown plans which have been transferred and digitised can be viewed, via the Historical Land Records Viewer, at public terminals at State Records’ Kingswood and The Rocks reading rooms. The public terminals provide access to many of LPI’s scanned historical records, such as Parish maps and Old Form Torrens Titles, and are a key resource for historical searches.
Images of Crown plans can also be purchased in several ways including:
- LPI’s Online Shop
- over the counter at LPI’s Property Information Delivery Services counter, Ground Floor, Records Wing, Queens Square, Sydney or,
- through approved LPI's Information Brokers.
LPI’s delivery policy for Crown plans is to supply the best available scanned image. The majority of plans are now available as quality colour images. For the small amount of plans not yet colour scanned, a black and white image will be delivered.
The Bridge Street plan room also contains Surveyor General Field Books. To aid search and retrieval of these records, indexes for each field book are data entered before transferred to State Records NSW. Surveyor General Field Books which have not been transferred, can be accessed through LPI’s Property Information Delivery Services.
For inquiries regarding Bridge Street Crown Plans and Surveyor General Field Books contact LPI’s Property Information Delivery Services on T: 02 9228 6082