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Policy: The Australian National University Archives collecting


To define the material which the University Archives seeks to acquire for its collection.


The University Archives ensures the preservation of those records of the Australian National University which have continuing value as evidence of University business. It provides services which make those records accessible to the University community and to the general public, in accordance with the Archives Act 1983 and relevant University policies.


This policy covers all acquisitions by the University Archives.


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

Official records created or received by University employees in the course of undertaking University business, which are regarded as the property of the University

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

University business includes all forms of its teaching and learning, research, community service, administration, commercial and cultural activities.

Policy statement

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


  1. The provenance of records the University Archives seeks to acquire can be broadly stated as:
  • official records of the University
  • records of academic and administrative staff
  • records of University organisations and societies
  • records of people closely associated with the University
  • records of local significance

Continuing value

  1. The majority of records created, received and maintained as evidence of university business activities are of short-term rather than long-term value and do not need to be preserved in the University Archives. 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 University, its obligations to its staff and students, as well as the research interests of the general community.

Format and condition

  1. The University Archives accepts records in many formats: paper, photographs, audio-visual material, digital images and electronic documents. 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.


Printable version (PDF)
Title The Australian National University Archives collecting
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_009412
Purpose To define the material which the University Archives seeks to acquire for its collection.
Audience Staff-Academic
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 247

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.