Preserving the collection

Our collection holds more than 40 million items and occupies almost 380,000m in shelf space.

The collection includes:

  • paper-based files
  • audiovisual records
  • digital records
  • bound volumes
  • photographs
  • maps and plans
  • microforms
  • other objects

We preserve items in two main ways:

  1. We provide quality long-term records storage.
  2. We target and care for at-risk records.

Quality long-term records storage

Quality long-term records storage slows the physical records' ageing process. This gives us time to manage the preservation of these records.

Specific information can be found in the Standard for the Physical Storage of Commonwealth Records (pdf, 326kb).

The digital archive is stored on 2 independent systems to prevent data loss.

Targeting at-risk records

Records considered at-risk are:

  • chemically unstable
  • in poor condition
  • regularly accessed

Our preservation policy guides conservation staff working in:

  • treating records
  • preventing damage
  • preparing exhibitions
  • digitising physical records for preservation
  • preserving audiovisual records
  • preserving digital records