General Records Authority 35

2014/00396055

Removal of medical images produced on acetate bases
and
Photographic negatives produced on cellulose nitrate bases

2015

This is an accurate reproduction of the authorised records authority content, created for accessibility purposes

Introduction

Under Section 26 of the Archives Act 1983 a person must not engage in conduct that results in an addition or alteration to a Commonwealth record that has been in existence for more than 15 years unless the addition or alteration takes place with the permission of the Archives or is required by law.

The National Archives of Australia has developed this records authority to permit the removal of some records on unstable media, specifically medical images produced on an acetate base and photographic negatives on a cellulose nitrate base from their containers or paper files, for preservation and management.

These media can be found on case files maintained by agencies such as the Departments of Defence, Veterans Affairs and Immigration and Border Protection. Many medical images on acetate bases are actively deteriorating. Cellulose nitrate as a film base is also highly flammable and is prone to rapid deterioration. This records authority permits the removal of these media from their files to mitigate the risk of damage to records stored close to them and the work safety of staff when handling these records.

Acetate film base was used between about 1930 and 1950. Cellulose nitrate film negatives were used from about 1885 until 1950.

Application of this Authority

  1. This authority applies to all agencies and all relevant records as described, including those in the care of the National Archives.
  2. This authority gives permission to remove medical images on an acetate film base and photographic negatives on a cellulose nitrate base from their files. Removal of items from a file must be noted to ensure a permanent link is created for access purposes.
  3. The file and the medical image or photographic negative must be retained in accordance with relevant records authorities. If a relevant records authority does not exist, the records must be retained until an authority is issued.
  4. Records subject to a disposal freeze must not be destroyed until the freeze has been lifted. Further information about disposal freezes and whether they affect the application of this Authority is available from the National Archives website at www.naa.gov.au.
  5. Records in the care of agencies should be appropriately stored, managed and preserved. Agencies need to meet this obligation to ensure that the records remain authentic and accessible over time. Under Section 31 of the Archives Act 1983, access arrangements are required for records that become available for public access including those records that remain in agency custody.
  6. Appropriate arrangements should be made with the National Archives when records are to be transferred into custody. The National Archives accepts for transfer only those records designated as national archives.

Contact Information

For assistance with this authority or for advice on other records management matters, please contact National Archives' Agency Service Centre.

Queen Victoria Terrace
Parkes ACT 2600

PO Box 7425
Canberra Mail Centre ACT 2610
Email: recordkeeping@naa.gov.au
Website: www.naa.gov.au

Authorisation

Person to whom notice of authorisation is given:

Heads of Commonwealth institutions under the Archives Act 1983.

Purpose:

Authorises arrangements for the alteration of records in accordance with Section 26 of the Archives Act 1983.

Application:

Removal of medical images on acetate bases and photographic negatives on cellulose nitrate bases from their file.

This authority gives permission for the alteration of the records described.

Authorised by:

David Fricker
Director-General
National Archives of Australia

28 April 2015

Classes

Removal of medical images produced on acetate bases and Photographic negatives produced on cellulose nitrate bases

Class no Description of records Disposal action
61741

Files that contain medical images on acetate bases, including:

  • CAT scans;
  • nuclear scans;
  • x-rays;
  • ultrasounds; and
  • dental images.
Remove image or negative from file and maintain in accordance with relevant Records Authorities
61742

Files that contain photographic negatives of any size on cellulose nitrate bases.

Remove image or negative from file and maintain in accordance with relevant Records Authorities
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