Transferring Archival records to the State Records Office

Transferring archival records to the State Records Office

 The State Records Act 2000 requires that State and Local government organisations must transfer records identified as State archives under their control to the State Records Office (SRO) when the  archives become 25 years old, unless the organisation’s Recordkeeping Plan states otherwise (State Records Act 2000,.s.32(1)). If an archive is not required for current administrative purposes s 32(2) allows for organisations to request transfer of State archives prior to those archives being 25 years old.

 Organisations requesting to transfer archives must give the State Archivist and Executive Director State Records at least 30 days written notice of their intention to transfer  s.32(3).

 Until such time that a transfer can be made, State organisations must keep their archives in accordance with the SRO’s Directions for Keeping State Archives awaiting transfer to the State Archives Collection and SRC Standard 8 - Managing Digital Information.

Preparing archives for transfer

The process of preparing archives for transfer to the SRO involves the following steps:

1.  Identify records that are State archives by implementing a disposal program using current

  • General disposal authorities,
  • Sector disposal authorities,
  • Functional retention and disposal schedules or
  • Adhoc disposal authority.

 When using General Disposal Authorities for State and Local Government records consider whether a restricted access status needs to be applied to the archives being prepared for transfer. The State Records Commission has developed a precedent register that outlines a range of record types and their recommended period of restriction. Please contact SRO for any further assistance.

2.  Establish that the records are no longer in regular business use:

  • Are they still in active use?
  • Are the archives currently part of a Freedom of Information action?
  • Is the date of last action on the archive at least 5 years ago?

3. Note the physical condition of the records – are the archives accessible, damaged, dirty, etc?

  • Good: the records are fully accessible/readable; no damage, dirt, etc.
  • Fair: the records show some dirt or discolouration, or have minor damage but that does not affect accessibility/readability.
  • Poor: significant dirt, damage, mould, etc.

4. Complete the Archives transfer request formand send to transfers@sro.wa.gov.au

5. Box and list the records as follows:

  • Group the records into series.
  • Box the records sequentially by their numeric, alphabetic or alpha-numeric filing system.
  • List the records in full on an excel consignment list in the same order in which they are boxed (i.e. sequentially).
  • Include a copy of the consignment list in the box and in your organization’s recordkeeping system.
  • Ensure boxes are numbered sequentially and the range of items for each box is noted on the end of the box (i.e. the first and last record number for each box).
  • De metalling (removal of staples, paper clips, metal fasteners) is not recommended when preparing archives for transfer unless there is obvious damage occurring to the record. Contact SRO for further advice.

It is the responsibility of the transferring agency to purchase archival boxes and ensure that all archival records are correctly boxed prior to transfer to the SRO.

When will the SRO be able to accept Transfers?

The SRO is currently unable to accept the transfer of State archives from government agencies due to a lack of archival storage space. All State organisations will be notified well in advance once additional archival storage space is available.  Until that time, agencies are required to retain archives in their care in accordance with the Directions for Keeping State Archives awaiting transfer to the State Archives Collection and SRC Standard 8 - Managing Digital Information.

Further Information

If you have any further queries regarding transfers please contact: transfers@sro.wa.gov.au

 Last update 7 September 2016