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Procedure: Pacific Research Archives collecting procedure


To specify procedures for the acquisition of material which the Pacific Research Archives in the Australian National University Archives seeks for its collection.


Application of policy: geographic limitations

  1. The area identified as the Pacific by the scholarly community includes the following countries:
  • American Samoa
  • Cook Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • French Polynesia
  • Guam
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • New Caledonia
  • Niue
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • West Papua
  1. New Zealand and Hawaii are excluded due to the significant collecting already taking place there. East Timor is not considered Pacific in this context.

Application of policy: continuing research value

  1. Material of continuing research value includes (but is not limited to):
  • material gathered in the preparation of research papers;
  • published material - reports about research, journal articles and government reports with limited distribution;
  • photographs of people, places and practices;
  • correspondence with academic colleagues and individuals in the Pacific;
  • fieldwork and research diaries and notebooks;
  • recordings of language, ceremonies, music, interviews, oral histories and speeches; and
  • maps and plans.

Application of policy: format and condition

  1. Paper records include files, letters received, copies of letters sent, memoranda, minutes, agenda, reports, submissions, faxes, printouts of emails, manuscripts, diaries, notebooks, maps and plans.
  2. Printed and published material is accepted when it is included on a file. Personal libraries are generally not accepted in their entirety by the Pacific Research Archives because of duplication with the existing University Library collection. The Pacific Research Archives accepts one copy of any published works (articles, journals or books) by the creator of the collection as a reference copy. Copies of published articles, journals, newspapers and books aretransferred to the University Library and considered for inclusion in their collection.
  3. Audio-visual records such as audiotapes and cassettes, film, videocassettes, compact disks and DVDs are accepted where they are in playable condition. The content is migrated to a more stable medium where possible to ensure the preservation and accessibility of the content, and digital copies made are stored in the University’s digital repository.
  4. Photographs in the form of contact prints, negatives, slides and digital images (either on compact disk or by electronic transfer) are accepted. Digital images are stored in the University’s digital repository with appropriate metadata attached.
  5. Electronic documents transferred to the Pacific Research Archives are held in the University’s digital repository with appropriate metadata and access controls where appropriate.
  6. The Pacific Research Archives accepts significant objects and memorabilia associated with the study of the Pacific, such as ceremonial objects, medals, trophies, plaques and flags. The Pacific Research Archives does not seek to collect artworks or research collections such as archaeological, geological or botanical specimens which are more appropriately placed in other institutions or collections. The Pacific Research Archives only accepts this other material, where it is incidental or incorporated into the collection.


  1. Records are assessed against the collection policy and the procedure for the application of the policy principles, and transferred to the Pacific Research Archives if appropriate. Advice is provided on the appropriate disposal of material which is not required by the Pacific Research Archives, including referral to other archives institutions.
  2. Records transferred to the Pacific Research Archives become the property of the University and the transfer of ownership (and copyright if appropriate) is effected by a Deed of Gift.
  3. The Pacific Research Archives does not generally accept material on long-term loan. In exceptional circumstances this is considered on a case by case basis.
  4. The Pacific Research Archives does not purchase records, however accepts donations of records under the Commonwealth Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.

Transfer of material to the University Library

  1. Published material (articles, journals, newspapers and books), that is not clearly connected to the archival material, is transferred to the University Library for consideration in their collection.
  2. The Pacific Research Archives and the University Library make links between transferred materials, maintaining the integrity of the collection as a whole.
  3. Where published material is not required by the Pacific Research Archives and duplicated in the University Library, the Pacific Research Archives offers material to an appropriate institution in the relevant country or region.

Review of collection

  1. The holdings of the University Archives are regularly reviewed to identify any material that is duplicated, of short-term value, or more appropriately placed with another collecting institution. This includes the holdings of the Pacific Research Archives.
  2. Other circumstances where records are deaccessioned include:
  • repatriation of cultural property;
  • damage or deterioration of records which renders them unreadable or unmanageable; and
  • where the records have been stolen or lost.
  1. Material owned by the University may be deaccessioned by return to the depositor, by destruction (in accordance with the disposal provisions of the Archives Act where appropriate), or by offer to another institution, in accordance with University asset disposal procedures.
  2. Unsolicited material which is not covered by the collecting policy is offered back to the owner with a recommendation of a more appropriate collecting institution. Where the owner cannot be contacted, the material may be deaccessioned by destruction or offer to another institution.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Pacific research archives collecting
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_009410
Version 6
Purpose To specify procedures for the acquisition of material which the Pacific Research Archives in the Australian National University Archives seeks for its collection.
Audience Staff-Academic, Students-Graduate-Research, Staff-Academic-Research
Category Academic
Topic/ SubTopic Information Management - Records & Archives
Effective Date 31 Aug 2020
Next Review Date 31 Aug 2023
Responsible Officer: University Librarian and Director, Scholarly Information Services
Approved By: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)
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.