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Policy: Noel Butlin Archives Centre collecting


To define the material which the Noel Butlin Archives Centre at the ANU Archives seeks to acquire for its collection.


The Noel Butlin Archives Centre (NBAC) is a national collection, preserving records of business activity and the labour movement in Australia and the Pacific which have continuing value for research. It provides an advisory service to businesses and organisations on recordkeeping and selecting records with continuing research value, and makes these records accessible to the University community and to the general public, in accordance with agreements with the depositors of the records.


This policy covers all acquisitions by the Noel Butlin Archives Centre (NBAC) at the ANU Archives.


Continuing value the value of records beyond their immediate administrative purpose for future business needs, accountability, evidence, and research

Provenance the origin of records: who created and maintained them and for what purpose

Record (AS ISO 15489) information created, received and maintained as evidence and as an asset by an organisation or person, in pursuit of legal obligations or in the transaction of business

Policy statement

  1. The NBAC seeks to acquire records based on the following criteria:
  • provenance
  • continuing value
  • format and condition
  • subject matter


  1. The provenance of records the NBAC seeks to acquire can be broadly stated as records of:
  • nationally significant businesses
  • federally registered industrial organisations
  • nationally significant professional organisations and industry bodies
  • individuals closely associated with business and the labour movement.

Continuing value

  1. The NBAC takes records of continuing value either to the organisation or to researchers into its custody for long-term preservation. The majority of records created, received and maintained as evidence of business activities are of short-term rather than long-term value and do not need to be preserved in archives. Generally records of continuing value comprise only a small percentage of all records created by an organisation.
  2. The continuing value of records is appraised in relation to administrative, legal, financial, evidential, informational, research and cultural values, and takes into account the protection of the rights and interests of the depositing organisation, its obligations to staff and clients, as well as the research interests of the general community.

Format and condition

  1. The NBAC accepts records in many formats: paper, photographs, maps, audio-visual material, digital images and electronic files. Records with identified conservation problems such as mould, chemical contamination or insect infestation, which would threaten the preservation of the existing collection or the health of staff, will not be accepted by the Archives until those problems are remedied.

Subject matter

  1. The NBAC has collection strengths from past collecting activities concentrated on a number of subject or thematic strands. The NBAC will continue to collect in these areas of collecting strength but is not limited only to these areas. The NBAC will collect in new areas of business activity and the labour movement, particularly in relation to new and emerging industries in the manufacturing, service and information sectors.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Noel Butlin archives centre collecting
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_009407
Purpose To define the material which the Noel Butlin Archives Centre seeks to acquire for its collection.
Audience Staff- Academic, Students-Graduate-Research, Staff-Academic-Research
Category Academic
Topic/ SubTopic Information Management - Records & Archives
Effective Date 16 Aug 2023
Next Review Date 15 Aug 2028
Responsible Officer: University Librarian and Director, Scholarly Information Services
Approved By: Academic Board
Contact Area Library, Archives and University Records
Authority: Archives Act 1983
Delegations 395,397

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.