Media release: Friday, 9 June 2017
The Australian Government today officially opened the new National Archives Preservation Facility in Canberra as part of its ongoing commitment to our nation.
The preservation and storage of our irreplaceable national archival collection is now safeguarded for generations to come, with the opening of the National Archives Preservation Facility by the Attorney-General and Minister responsible for the Archives, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, in Canberra today.
The national archival collection comprises millions of Australian Government records, reflecting our history and identity. They include paper and audiovisual files, models, maps, plans and photographs. The Archives is charged with preserving, storing and making accessible these records for the benefit of all Australians.
'This is a monumental moment in the Archives' history,' said Archives Director-General David Fricker. 'With the opening of the National Archives Preservation Facility today – International Archives Day – the continued preservation of significant aspects of Australia's heritage is ensured. This includes fascinating reports of UFO sightings, incoming passenger cards for the Beatles' 1964 tour of Australia, and rare archival footage from the ABC.'
The National Archives Preservation Facility provides contemporary storage for more than 100 kilometres of paper records and nine kilometres of audiovisual records. End to end, the records stored at the new facility would circle Uluru about 12 times. This represents around one-quarter of the national archival collection and one of the largest movements of official records in the Archives' history.
The purpose-built facility is environmentally controlled, environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. Its passive, green design will minimise energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and its environmental footprint.
The new building measures a total area of 17,000 square metres. It houses contemporary purpose-designed workspaces for conservation and digitisation activities, and office accommodation for 150 staff.
The National Archives Preservation Facility also provides increased capacity to transfer and store digital records, as Australian Government agencies transition to digital information management, a process in which the National Archives plays a lead role.
The Archives' role in preserving the national archival collection underpins the democratic process and ensures public accountability,' said Mr Fricker. 'The opening of the National Archival Preservation Facility enhances our ability to undertake this vital service for the nation.'
Note: The Archives' public reading room, galleries and events will continue to operate from its National Office in the Canberra suburb of Parkes.