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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 2313 asked in the Legislative Council on 6 August 2019 by Hon Alison Xamon

Question Directed to the: Leader of the House representing the Minister for Culture and the Arts
Minister responding: Hon D.A. Templeman
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

I refer to the estimated 162,000 items in the State Archives in poor or unacceptable condition, and I ask:
(a) will a more detailed survey of the state of the contents of the archive be undertaken:
(i) if yes to (a), when will this be undertaken and what will be the scope of the survey;
(b) have activities commenced to protect and repair the items that have already been identified as being in poor or unacceptable condition:
(i) if yes to (b), please describe what these activities are, when they are being undertaken and by whom; and
(ii) if no to (b), why not; and
(c) has a routine conservation program been run since the one identified in the 2011-2012 financial year:
(i) if yes to (c), please provide details; and
(ii) if no to (c), why not?

Answered on 4 September 2019

(a) No

(i) Not applicable

(b) Yes

(i) A re-boxing project to re-house State Archives was undertaken between March 2018 and June 2019. The project re-housed archives from acidic to acid-free boxes, and in consultation with archival staff, identified ongoing collection care requirements.

A Preservation Needs Assessment of State Archives held by the State Records Office was carried out in October 2018. Based on the recommendations of this assessment:

- a draft Preservation Project Plan 2018-23 was prepared in March 2019 to guide preservation of the collections; and

- in April 2019, the State Records Office developed ongoing conservation processes and reporting practices, established a conservation station, procured expert advice on specific items within the collection and received training in handling and conservation techniques to undertake work on specific items.

(ii) Not applicable

(c) No

(i) Not applicable

(ii) The State Records Office has allocated resources for digitisation to improve access to State Archives and increase preservation of these items through decreased handling, as well as further systems development to improve control and discoverability of State Archives. Conservation reports have been made for individual items identified through the handling of State Archives.