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Recordkeeping Advice No. 11

Short-term Retrieval of State Records

Issued: 13 July 2005

Recordkeeping Advices issued by the State Archivist provide advice on the management of records of State and local government organisations and support or explain recordkeeping requirements set out in formal State records guidelines.

This Advice sets out the procedures to be followed when retrieving records from the Archives Office of Tasmania in accordance with State Records Guideline No. 12 and section 19 of the Archives Act 1983.

Ian Pearce
State Archivist


This Advice sets out the procedures to be followed when retrieving records from the Archives Office of Tasmania in accordance with State Record Guideline No. 12 and section 19 of the Archives Act 1983.

Records requests

Agency requests for the short-term return of State records should be emailed to

If the request is urgent, the agency should also phone the Berriedale Repository on 6214 4894 to notify staff that the request is urgent and to make arrangements for the collection of the records.

When making requests the following information should be provided:

  • name of agency/division/branch
  • requesting officer's details (name, phone and fax numbers and email address)
  • collection details
  • item/s required (file number, file title, document title etc.)
  • series number/s (the number allocated by the Archives Office to a set of records)

Series numbers are included on the agency's copy of the Transfer and Access Agreement or Accession Record, which list the records transferred to the Archives Office. (A search on Tasmanian Archives Online at is also a useful way of identifying agency records that have been transferred to the Archives Office.)

It is necessary to provide as much detail about the item/s required including any agency identifiers (such as file numbers) and the series number/s allocated to a set of records when they are transferred to the Archives Office.

If the records are included in a transfer that has not yet been processed by the Archives Office, agencies should quote the transfer number and/or the date of transfer, and provide details of the records from the item consignment list sent to the Archives Office when the records were transferred.

To avoid the increased risk of loss or damage to State archives it is often preferable for records to be copied or for agency officers to consult the records at the Archives Office.

Requests for records where the agency is unable to provide the detailed references will usually require Archives Office staff to conduct additional research to identify the relevant records. Therefore the retrieval of these records may not be possible within the usual timeframe. When making such research requests, agencies should follow the request process outlined above, and provide as much additional information as possible to assist the identification and retrieval of the records.

Records collection

Records requested where series numbers have been provided will normally be available for collection after 9.30 am on the following morning from the Archives Office enquiry desk 2nd floor, 91 Murray St Hobart.

Collection from the Berriedale Repository can also be arranged if this is more convenient or if the request is urgent.

Agencies located outside the Hobart area can make arrangements for the secure and registered courier pick-up and delivery.

Every reasonable effort will be made to facilitate next day collection for records requested prior to 4.00 pm. However, when requests involve additional research or involve the retrieval of multiple items, it may not be possible to process the request for next-day delivery.

The Archives Office will notify the requesting officer when records are ready for collection.

It is essential that agency staff collecting records have details of the specific records which have been requested, and this person must sign and date the request slip when the items are collected.

Agency procedures

All records retrieved from the Archives Office will have attached an identification slip (AOT 8). It is imperative that this remain attached to the record at all times.

Once the records are collected their security and their prompt return after use is the responsibility of the requesting agency. The agency should ensure that adequate records management procedures are adopted to fulfil this responsibility.

Records which have been transferred to the Archives Office are State archives and should not be altered or added to without consultation with the Archives Office.

Returning records

Returns may be delivered to the Archives Office in Murray Street or to the Berriedale Repository, whichever is more convenient. 

Records should be returned to the Archives Office as soon as possible, but no longer than 30 days from the date of collection by the agency. If records are required for an extended period, the Archives Office Records Services Branch should be notified.

Notices of records which are overdue for return will be sent regularly to agencies. Agencies are asked to promptly return records listed on the overdue notice or to notify the Archives Office Records Services Branch if the records are still required for immediate agency business.