State archives are State records that the State Archives and Records Authority of New South Wales has control of under the State Records Act 1998. In practical terms, these are State records of continuing value that have been designated as required as State archives in an approved, current disposal authority (and correctly sentenced under that authority) and which are no longer in use for official purposes.
Under Part 4 of the Act, when such records become inactive, public offices are required to transfer all such records to the control of State Records. In most cases this will also mean transfer to State Archives' custody, but the Act also allows for records to be managed as State archives by another body (by agreement with State Archives) under distributed management.
For further information about managing the official archives of NSW, see Managing the State's official documentary heritage.