The National Archives will issue, through our Lending Service, any record that your agency controls, with the following exceptions:
Ideally only one person in an agency should be authorized to make lending requests - this will prevent duplicate requests. Please keep us informed about who is authorised to request records on behalf of your agency. Making batch lending requests will allow us to respond to them more efficiently.
To request a record, you need to know the record’s series, consignment (or transfer job) and item or file numbers (control symbols). This information is on the consignment lists you sent to the National Archives when the record was transferred.
If you don't have copies of the consignment lists, or you don't know the consignment number, please contact the Archives.
You can submit a lending request by:
The Archives aims to have normal requests for records ready within 24 hours. The location of records and timing of courier runs can affect the response time. You may wish to contact your nearest Archives office for details about their response times.
Digital records can be retrieved via Lending Services. We will send you all the documents that make up the item on a transfer medium, like a CD or portable hard drive, or through other agreed methods.
The National Archives keeps some kinds of records in special low temperature storage, for example master microfilms, photographs and films. When they are removed from cold storage, these records require acclimatisation before they can be issued. There is a week turnaround for lending of these types of records.
Arrange to have your records collected by an authorized courier or person. If you are using a courier, you should give them specific information about the records they will be collecting, including your Commonwealth Agency number (CA).
Records will not be issued to anyone who does not have the required authorisation. It is your responsibility to make sure that the person collecting the records has appropriate security clearance.
For more information on security classifications and clearances, please see the Australian Government Security Policy Framework released by the Attorney-General's Department.
If your agency has unsentenced records stored with the National Archives you may want to withdraw them to sentence them. The process of withdrawing for sentencing is different to the standard Lending Service procedure, you should contact the Archives for advice.
Return records to the National Archives office that issued them within 90 days. Make sure that you securely pack or wrap the records to prevent damage in transit.
Make sure you return only the records that the Archives has issued to you so they can be returned to their series and consignment. Records issued through the Lending Service will have a label on the back with details of the request on it.
Contact the Archives Lending Service for advice.
After a sentencing project, you may find that some of the records you withdrew from the National Archives for sentencing need to be returned to the Archives. You should not return these records through the Lending Service. Instead, you will need to transfer them to the Archives as part of a new consignment.