After months and months of disruption, the National Archives of Australia (NAA) has recently finished moving into their new custom built, $64 million building, the National Archives Preservation Facility at Mitchell in Canberra, ACT.
The new facility, built and owned by a private company which the Commonwealth agency has leased for 30 years. provides storage for more than 100 kilometres of paper records and 9 kilometres of audiovisual records. This represents around one-quarter of the national archival collection and was 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, as well as office accommodation for 150 staff.
The National Archives of Australia (NAA) collection comprises of millions of Australian Government records, reflecting the history and identity of our people and country, and the NAA is in charge of preserving, storing and making accessible records for the benefit of all Australians.
The preservation and storage of Australia’s irreplaceable national archival collection is now safeguarded for generations to come, and it is expected to have capacity to continue collecting and housing records through until 2030.
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.
Please Note: While I’m sure everyone (or at least any genie) who visits Canberra, would want to visit the new National Archives Preservation Facility, sadly it’s not open to the public. The NAA’s public reading room in Canberra continues to operate from its National Office at Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes, ACT. For more details (times and record delivery time) on the reading room, be sure check their website here.
For more photographs of the new archives, please check out the National Archives of Australia website