Why records are kept – directions in appraisal

This publication was produced by the National Archives in 2003 and outlines the approach that the National Archives takes when deciding whether Australian Government records should be kept, destroyed or transferred.

The five selection objectives

The National Archives appraises which records should be retained as national archives using five selection objectives.

These five objectives are:

  1. To preserve precise evidence of the deliberations, decisions and actions of the Commonwealth and Commonwealth institutions relating to key functions and programs and significant issues faced in governing Australia.
  2. To preserve evidence of the source of authority, foundation and machinery of the Commonwealth and Commonwealth institutions.
  3. To preserve records containing information that is considered essential for the protection and future well-being of Australians and their environment.
  4. To preserve records that have a special capacity to illustrate the condition and status of Australia and its people, the impact of Commonwealth government activities on them, and the interaction of people with the government.
  5. To preserve records that have substantial capacity to enrich knowledge and understanding of aspects of Australia’s history, society, culture and people.


Copyright National Archives of Australia 2015