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Author: Charlie Farrugia
Senior Collections Advisor
As part of its routine collection management program, Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) is reviewing its collection of physical records held at the Victorian Archives Centre in North Melbourne. We will be looking at our existing collection to ensure that we are retaining only those records of permanent value to the State and people of Victoria. As part of this review we will be identifying records that do not need to be held in the State’s archive any longer. The great bulk of our Collection will not be affected or even considered during the course this project.
What we will be examining is a relatively small portion of our collection that has never been fully appraised (that is, the worth of the records have not been determined) or that requires a review of the original appraisal decisions. These are predominantly records that were taken into archival custody many years ago without thorough examination or with their archival status uncertain, sometimes in order to assist agencies facing crisis situations. This project is likely to take several years to complete. It will involve examining the records and the original decisions behind the records being transferred into PROV’s custody. We will be referring to our current appraisal decisions and criteria which provide guidance as to which records need to be retained as part of the state archives. PROV will be working alongside each agency responsible for records that have been identified through this project, to ensure they agree with us when we identify records that can be returned to the agency or immediately disposed of.
Our decisions will be rigorously tested, documented and approved prior to any final action being taken. You may be wondering, what are the benefits of doing this? This project will help ensure that our unique collection continues to hold those records that are of permanent value to the government and people of Victoria. It also provides us with the added benefit of freeing up valuable space in our purpose built archival storage facility to ensure our collection can to continue to grow for years to come. This is also great news for our researchers who will benefit from a richer, more valuable collection.