Preserving physical records

The National Archives of Australia holds and cares for over 40 million physical records. About 90% of them are paper files, volumes, maps and plans. While most of the remaining records are photographic and audiovisual records, there are also small numbers of other formats such as 3D models and objects. Commonwealth agencies will hold the same types of records. The advice contained in these recommendations is directed to agencies with statutory responsibility for looking after their business records. The principles in these advices can also be applied for general use. The National Archives of Australia can provide recommendations for the creation and storage of archival documents. The ability to achieve the highest storage and preservation standards are in some cases only achievable at the institutional level. The Archives also has a list of archival materials and suppliers. [Please note that this list does not imply an endorsement of any particular supplier].

If you are creating core business records you should consider using archival quality paper. The National Archives tests and approves archival quality papers, and provides approved storage products with an archival quality trademark. The physical preservation advices that follow give advice on choosing storage media and how to protect and handle records on these media.

Archival papers and products

Format-specific preservation advice

Other advice on physical preservation

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019