Australian Data Archive

Help with the HCCDA website

The HCCDA archive contains a large number of highly structured document pages, tables and page images. To help you work with this archive we have put together some background information on the way this website finds and presents documents and pages.

The Structure of the HCCDA Archive

The digital assets in the archive are currently organized hierarchically into regions, which contain publication years, which in turn contain documents. Document assets contain both page and table assets.

A Note on IDs

Every digital asset in the HCCDA archive has a unique ID. These IDs are designed to be descriptive and human-readable, without being too verbose to work with. Currently, every region (colony), publication year, document, document page and document table has an HCCDA ID. Here is the structure of the HCCDA IDs:

Asset Structure Example
Year {RRR}-{YYYY} NSW-1846
Document {RRR}-{YYYY}-{AAA...} NSW-1846-census
Page {RRR}-{YYYY}-{AAA...}-{PPP...} NSW-1846-census-01_1
Table {RRR}-{YYYY}-{AAA...}-{PPP...}-{TT} NSW-1846-census-01_1-1

A Note on Document Page Numbers

The page numbering schemes used across the HCCDA archive documents are widely varying, to say the least! The page numbering scheme we've adopted needs to cope with: decimal and Roman page numbers, missing page numbers, page numbers restarting in a document, multiple page ranges bound into one publication, pages inserted after publication, amongst other issues. To cope with these issues HCCDA page numbers are not simple indexes, but compound numbers, as illustrated in this table:

Number Explanation
02_345 Page numbered 345 of part 2 of the publication
03_lvii Page numbered lvii of part 3 of the publication
02_345_1 Unnumbered page 1 after page 345 of part 2 of the publication
03_xx_2 Unnumbered page 1 after page xx of part 3 of the publication

HCCDA Website URLs

The URLs that you can use to directly access or reference HCCDA documents, pages and tables via this website make use of the standard IDs as described above and are illustrated in the table below (assume each of these URLs starts with

URL Explanation
regions/NSW Visit the document holdings for the NSW colony
documents/NSW-1891-census Visit the NSW 1891 census publication
pages/NSW-1891-census-01_7 Visit the NSW 1891 census publication, part 1 page 7
tables/NSW-1891-census-02_2-1 Visit the NSW 1891 census publication table number 1 on part 2 page 2

Help With Searching the Archive

Every word and table cell in the archive documents has been indexed to allow full-text searching. The search box provided at the top of every page of the archive can search for simple terms like "Brisbane" but it also accepts a number of more powerful search operators and qualifiers:

Search Hint Explanation
brick stone Implicit AND. Search for pages containing brick and stone.
brick | stone OR operator. Search for pages containing brick or stone.
brick -stone NOT operator. Search for pages containing brick and not stone.
"date collected" Phrase search. Search for pages containing the phrase date collected
wood* Wildcard. Search for pages containing words starting with "wood"
*town Wildcard. Search for pages containing words ending with "town"
"date collected"~5 Proximity search. Search for pages containing date within five words of collected

A Note on Image and Markup Quality

Some of the original microfiche films that the archive has digitized are of poor quality, or mistakes have crept in to the fiche scanning process. We also expect that mistakes have also crept in to the process of creating XML markup from the page images. If you spot a document page image or markup that you believe has errors or is not of a high enough quality to use, then please let us know. Every document page has a comment form where you can leave comments or corrections or other notes, or you can contact us directly at the email addresses on the contacts page.

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