• Archival Collection

Records of Wanslea Children's Home

To access these records

Please contact the Archivist, Diocesan Archives Centre:

Postal address: 26 King William Road, North Adelaide SA 5006

Phone: (08) 8305 9350

Email: archives@adelaideanglicans.com

Website: https://adelaideanglicans.com/ministry-support/archives/


Records of Wanslea Children’s Home is a collection of records created by staff and officers of Wanslea Children’s Home during the period 1946-1995. The records include annual reports, committee minutes, general correspondence, insurance files, holiday care records, fundraising records, architectural records, financial documents and some photographs.

Access Conditions

Former residents of the children’s Homes of the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide and Church of England, or members of their families, can apply to the Diocesan Archivist to be provided with information and/or copies of records relevant to their time in care. Physical access to the historical records of the children’s Homes or the church’s Social Welfare Bureau is not permitted due to the fragility of the material and the need to protect the privacy of third parties.


Record keeping practices varied significantly from one Home to another and from one time period to another, with respect to the quantity and types of records that were created and preserved. Many of the following records are fragmentary or incomplete, or were created only for specific time periods during the overall duration of the Homes.

In 1992 an arson attack destroyed many of the historic records of Wanslea, burning down the building they were stored in. Those records that survived were transferred into the care of the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide archives. Many surviving records are fire-damaged, with damage ranging from mild to severe. Some records from the pre-1992 period have also been lodged with the State Library of South Australia.

Records of Wanslea Children’s Home include committee minutes, annual reports, financial records, general correspondence, insurance files, holiday care records, fundraising records, architectural records, financial documents and some photographs.

The collection includes the following records:

  • Annual reports, 1962-1988, with gaps – These usually mention key staff such as the matron and give an overall picture of life in the Home during the year immediately past. The reports refer to financial matters, building maintenance and the general running of the Homes and may include names of visiting medical specialists. Sometimes the reports include photographs of buildings or children.
  • Minutes of the committee, 1962-1988 – Include brief matron’s reports that rarely mention names of children. Some minutes include general information about numbers of children in the Home. Most minutes in this collection are unsigned, non-official copies.
  • Insurance records, 1981-1989.
  • Fundraising records, 1947-1986 – Includes correspondence and bookkeeping records related to Wanslea’s fundraising badge days.
  • Architectural records, 1969-1978 – Includes floorplans of the building showing planned renovations.
  • Photographs, undated – Five photographs show adults (not including any children) celebrating an anniversary by cutting a cake in the Wanslea grounds. They are fire damaged.
  • Financial records, 1946-1985 – Include general receipt books and accounts ledgers. They have, in some cases, severe fire damage.
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