When records of archival value are no longer being actively used, Australian Government agencies can arrange to transfer them into the custody of the National Archives of Australia. To ensure the preservation of archival value records and to allow the Archives to prepare records for public access, section 27 of the Archives Act 1983 requires Australian government agencies to transfer records to the Archives within 15 years of their creation.
The National Archives accepts records that have been sentenced under an authorised records authority as 'retain as national archives' (RNA) and which are no longer used on a regular basis. If you need advice about sentencing or are ready to transfer RNA records to the Archives please contact us for advice or so we can visit to assist you with the transfer.
During the visit, we will confirm the archival value of the records and determine how best to manage the records once they are in the Archives' custody. We will consider:
We will also discuss the documentation that is required to transfer records to the Archives.
To assist the Archives manage and provide access to the records in accordance with the Archives Act 1983, we ask agencies to provide information about the records being transferred. The Transfer Proposal Pack which agencies complete captures the required information. Guidelines are available to help you complete the pack and the Archives will discuss requirements with you during the agency visit.
Please contact us about your proposed transfer and we will provide you with transfer forms and guidelines.
To prepare the records for transfer, please ensure that the records:
Records transferred to the Archives are to be packed in archival quality boxes. Each record and each box should be barcoded with box and item barcodes supplied by the Archives.
The Archives accepts the transfer of digital records on portable media, such as optical disk (CD or DVD), flash drives or portable hard drives. We will discuss requirements with you during our visit to your agency.
The ideal format to send digital records to the Archives is a tab delimited .txt file; however any excel friendly format such as .xls or .csv is acceptable.
Once your agency's transfer proposal is approved by the Archives and the records have been prepared, you can transport them to the Archives' custody according to an agreed timetable. If the records are classified, they will need to be handled and transported in accordance with the Australian Government Protective Security Framework.
The location in which the Archives will store the records will depend on the nature of the records. The Archives will confirm the storage location with your agency.
Transferring records to the National Archives is a joint project. Please contact us at any time regarding the prospective or current transfer of records.