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National Archives and State Records Collections in SA

It is pleasing that after  hectic campaigning by many groups and individuals, and with the History Council taking a lead role, things are looking up for public archives in South Australia.

From a position where the Adelaide NAA regional office was to be closed and even more of our records sent interstate or destroyed, we will now have both a continuing regional presence and see the return of a number of records to SA which were taken in the 2002 ‘rationalisation’. At the State level a crisis due to inadequate storage space  and restricted accessibility of records has been averted.

A key to this outcome has been the proposal, vigourously pushed by your Council to have the purpose-built Collinswood facility at Collinswood returned to its previous function. Sold by the Howard Government in 2002, it is fortunate that the new owner did not demolish or reconstruct the building as he had planned, and it can be used for its designed purpose again, but this time serving both Commonwealth and State.

The National Archives has already agreed on a co-located reading room at Leigh St, and is placing its local records in the  Collinswood facility on a lease basis. Meanwhile the State Records Office, already out of space at Gepps Cross, is planning to make use of Collinswood on a long-term basis.

The end result should be better reading rooms, and more records which are accessible and retrievable from both levels of Government in co-located venues.


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