The State Archives and Records Authority of New South Wales (NSW State Archives) is one of Australia’s pre-eminent Archives and Records Authorities with a vast collection of historical records and archives dating back to the European settlement of Australia in 1788. With responsibilities for the development, preservation and access for the State’s archives, NSW State Archives is also responsible for managing and storing over 500 KMs of semi-permanent Government records for NSW public sector offices.
NSW State Archives is a statutory body legislated under the State Records Act 1998 (the Act) to administer the Act. NSW State Archives is a related entity within the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI) cluster.
The State Archives and Records Authority of New South Wales (NSW State Archives) is the NSW Government’s archives and records management authority. Its purposes are to:
- Preserve the State archives and enable and promote their use; and
- Set standards and provide guidance and services to improve records management across the NSW public sector including local government, the universities and the public health system.
The public can access State archives via the Public Reading Room located at the Western Sydney Records Centre. The Sydney Records Centre closed on 30 June 2012. Address and hours are as follows:
Western Sydney Records Centre
161 O’Connell Street, KINGSWOOD
(02) 9673 1788
Hours of opening
- Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
- Saturday 10am-4pm
- Sunday and public holidays CLOSED
The reading room and public facilities are wheelchair accessible.
PO Box 516, Kingswood NSW 2747
NSW State Archives is an agency within the Department of Finance and Services and a statutory body under Schedule 2 of the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983. Our core regulatory, archival management, public access and service delivery functions are Budget-funded through a grant from the Department of Finance and Services. The Government Records Repository (GRR) operates off-Budget to provide records storage services to the public sector.
NSW State Archives is governed by the State Records Act 1998, which also establishes public offices’ obligations in relation to their records, and governs public access to records more than 30 years old. The Act was amended in 2005 following a review.
NSW State Archives is comprised of an Executive Unit and five branches.
State Archives and Records Authority of NSW
- Executive Unit supports the Director and addresses policy issues.
- Public Access enables members of the public to access Government records and archives.
- Government Recordkeeping sets standards for the management of State records, provides guidance to NSW public sector agencies on records management and identifies records which need to be retained as State archives.
- Archives Control and Management accepts Government records which will be held retained as State archives and processes these records to enable access.
- Corporate Information and Communications provides the information technology and communications services required for communication within NSW State Archives and between NSW State Archives and its external stakeholders.
- Government Records Repository stores and provides access to non-current Government records, for a fee.
Mr Geoff Hinchcliffe
Director State Archives and Records Authority of NSW
"It is a great time to be working at State Records and I look forward to leading the reshaping and realignment of this wonderful organisation over the coming years."
The Executive meets each week to maintain a strategic view of operations, monitor progress towards corporate goals across programs, and review and approve major policies and initiatives. The Executive consists of the Director, Deputy Director, Finance Manager and Manager GRR.
Ms Jenni Stapleton Deputy Director State Archives and Records Authority of NSW
Mr Ben Alexander (acting) Manager, Government Records Repository
Mr Brian Astruc Finance Manager
Ms Anna Bartosiak Executive Officer/Secretariat
What we do
We provide a wide range of services to the public and the NSW public sector, along with guidance for public sector bodies on all aspects of records management.
We manage a framework of policy, legislation, standards, codes of best practice and guidelines governing the making, retention and management of State records and access to them. This framework applies both to records managed by public sector bodies and to the State archives collection.
A major operational focus for us is the documentation, storage and preservation of records. These include the State archives collection held in our own facilities, State archives maintained elsewhere in partnership arrangements with other organisations, and semi-active records stored commercially for our public sector clients.
Section 66 of the State Records Act 1998 provides that NSW State Archives has the following functions:
- setting and monitoring standards for the creation, management and disposal of State records
- providing practical advice, guidance and training to NSW public sector agencies in all aspects of records management
- providing centralised and cost-effective storage and retrieval services for the semi-active records of public sector agencies
- identifying those State records which should be retained as State archives and authorising the disposal of those which should not
- documenting and 'cataloging' State archives in their functional and administrative context
- storing State archives in appropriate environments and ensuring that those stored elsewhere are also stored to the necessary standards
- using 'micro-' and 'macro-preservation' techniques to preserve the State's archives
- making State records more than 30 years old available for public access and use
- guiding public sector agencies in administering public access to those State records for which they are responsible
- interpreting, promoting and enhancing public awareness of the State archives collection, and
- making the best use of information technology and communications to improve our services and business.
Assess serious matters of poor recordkeeping
Individuals may make a complaint about serious instances of poor recordkeeping or non-compliant records management within a NSW Government organisation.
It should be noted that NSW State Archives can only look at matters that specifically relate to the requirements of the State Records Act 1998 and the records management standards issued under the Act.
In the first instance, you can contact us by telephone to discuss the issue. If it is a serious matter that we can look into then, we will request that a written complaint is sent outlining the issue.
Complaints about records management in NSW Government organizations should be addressed to the Director, NSW State Archives by emailing email@example.com or by writing to PO Box 516, Kingswood NSW 2747.
If NSW State Archives decides to deal with the complaint, we will make an assessment of the organisation’s records management policy and processes in order to determine if a breach of the State Records Act has occurred. Our aim is to assist the public office to improve its records management by bringing its attention to areas of policy and process which need corrective action or improvement. NSW State Archives does not have formal investigation powers.
If your complaint concerns:
- maladministration or corrupt conduct, then the appropriate organisations would be the Independent Commission Against Corruption (see www.icac.nsw.gov.au) and the NSW Ombudsman’s Office (see www.ombo.nsw.gov.au)
- access to records and information under the Government Information Public Access Act, then the appropriate organisation would be the Office of the Information Commissioner (see www.ipc.nsw.gov.au), or
- privacy of records and information under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act and Health Records and Information Privacy Act, then the appropriate organisation would be the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (see www.ipc.nsw.gov.au).
Values, Vision and Aims
- Ensure that the business of the NSW public sector is properly documented and that official records are managed efficiently and effectively to support frontline service delivery, good governance and accountability.
- Develop, document, preserve and make available the State archives collection as a cultural and information resource in order to enrich the people and communities of NSW.
We are committed to:
- the highest possible professional standards
- our customers and their needs in our decision-making and business directions
- integrity and accountability in our dealings with stakeholders, customers and the records
- innovation, creativity and openness to ideas in our work
- respect for our customers and their diverse backgrounds and interests, and respect for each other.
To ensure the people and Government of NSW have ready access to records which illuminate history, enrich the life of the community and support good and accountable government.