What is the Australian Joint Copying Project?
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) began in 1945 when an agreement to copy material held in repositories in the United Kingdom relating to Australia and the Pacific was signed by the National Library of Australia and the State Library of New South Wales. Filming began in 1948 and for ten years the work of the Project was confined entirely to the Public Record Office (PRO) in London. These microfilms formed the PRO Series.
From 1960 onwards the AJCP extended its coverage to include archives and manuscripts held in the British Library, the National Libraries of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, university libraries, museums, learned societies, business archives, county and city record offices, missionary societies and private homes. These microfilms formed the Miscellaneous Series or M Series.
In 1988 the original partnership between the State Library of New South Wales and the National Library came to an end. For a further five years the AJCP continued under the sole direction of the National Library, supported by the State Library of Victoria, the National Library of New Zealand, the National Archives of New Zealand and several university libraries. The AJCP Office in London was closed in June 1993 and the last reel of microfilm was received in 1997.
The AJCP was probably the longest-running project of its kind in the world. It located, described and filmed thousands of classes and collections of Australian, New Zealand and Pacific records held in hundreds of institutions, organisations and homes in almost every part of Britain and Ireland. It produced and despatched to Australia over 10,000 reels of microfilmed records dating from 1560 to 1984.
For the purposes of arrangement and description, the AJCP films are divided into two series, the Public Record Office Series and the Miscellaneous Series. There are 7,314 reels in the PRO Series and 3,105 reels in the M Series. The PRO Series is organised by the department or agency of the British Government that created and assembled the records, such as the Colonial Office, Home Office, Treasury or Admiralty. The M Series reels are grouped either under the person or body that created the records, such as Sir Joseph Banks or the London Missionary Society, or the repository that currently holds the records, such as the British Library, National Library of Ireland or Buckinghamshire Record Office.
AJCP Handbooks were published by the National Library of Australia to provide an index to the material filmed in the Project.
- Part 1 - General introduction and shelf list of copying.
- Part 2 - Colonial Office. Introduction, class and piece lists and more detailed descriptions.
- Part 3 - Home Office. Introduction, class and piece lists and more detailed desciptions.
- Part 4 - War Office. Introduction, class and piece lists and more detailed descriptions.
- Part 5 - Foreign Office. Introduction, class and piece lists and more detailed desciptions.
- Part 6 - Exchequer and Audit Department; Privy Council Office; Board of Trade and Treasury. Introduction, class and piece lists and more detailed descriptions.
- Part 7 - Admiralty. Introduction, class and piece lists and more detailed desciptions.
- Part 8 - M Series (Miscellaneous). Summary descriptions.
- Part 9 - Public Record Office personal collections.
- Part 10 - Dominions Office. Class, piece and file lists.
- Part 11 - Public Record Office. Classes filmed in the final five years of the Australian Joint Copying Project
The State Library of South Australia has copies of all the above mentioned AJCP Handbooks.
Please note: The Library does not hold a complete set of AJCP microfilms. To view what we do hold go to the tab above entitled: State Library of South Australia Holdings
Access to Microfilm
The State Library's AJCP collection is shelved with other microfilms in the Family History area. Arrangement on the shelves is by Series, then Class (agency), then reel number. The Handbooks are shelved opposite on the bookshelves at 994 A938.
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