National Archives to open new research centre in Perth's cultural precinct

Media release: Friday, 21 December 2018

The National Archives of Australia is moving to the heart of Perth's cultural precinct.

The new Western Australia office and research centre on the ground floor of William Square, Northbridge will open in March 2019 following the finalisation of lease arrangements with building owners Warrington Property this week.

The move is being made ahead of the expiry of the National Archives' lease on its Perth home of 42 years at East Victoria Park.

The more than 14 shelf kilometres (72,000 boxes) of records stored there are being relocated to a new state-of-the-art facility in Belmont, developed with Western Australian company Compu-stor. 

National Archives Acting Director-General Louise Doyle said the relocation of the Western Australia office to Northbridge marked the beginning of a new chapter for the National Archives in the state. 

'This exciting move will put the National Archives at the centre of Perth's cultural precinct, expose us to thousands of new clients and deliver improved access to Commonwealth records for all Western Australians,' Ms Doyle said.

'The new office will incorporate a research centre, seminar facilities, an exhibition space and administration offices for our Perth staff.

'The move to Northbridge is a demonstration of our commitment to a continued presence in Perth and to delivering services to the people of Western Australia well into the future.'

Warrington Property Director David Zimmermann said the company was proud to partner with the National Archives. 

'We look forward to welcoming them into the newly refurbished property within the vibrant Northbridge cultural precinct with its excellent links to public transport,' Mr Zimmerman said.

Ms Doyle said the dual-site operational model where records storage and access services are separate is proving to be a highly successful approach implemented by the National Archives in Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart.

'The Belmont repository gives us the controlled storage environment and specialised facilities we need to preserve and manage the records in our care into the future,' she said.

'Moving our public access and administration services to Northbridge means we can offer a more engaging experience with the collection to more people.

'The Northbridge cultural precinct is an everyday work and play destination for tens of thousands of people, readily accessible by public transport and home to multiple government services and cultural institutions.

'It's a great opportunity for us to grow our contribution to the cultural life of Western Australia while providing services to more people, including our valued existing clients.

'I would like to thank our clients, partners and staff for their patience and support during the relocation.'

William Square is located on the corner of William and Francis streets in Northbridge.

More information about the new office, operations and the opening date will be released via the National Archives website in coming weeks.

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