The future of the State's Archival collection

Contribute to the discussion about the future of the State's Archival collection below. Some of the areas you may like to comment on include:

What types of State and Local Government records do you think should be kept as part of the State’s Archive?

What types of State and Local Government records do you think should be destroyed when they are no longer required for their original purpose?

Are there specific types of State and Local Government records that should be kept for the benefit of rural, regional or other communities in South Australia?

Do you have any ideas on how State Records can better preserve the State’s Archive?

Do you have any ideas on how State Records can make the State’s Archive more accessible to the community?

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Tim Kelly

13 Nov 2018

PROPERTY TITLES
I was recently advised that property titles provided to banks when mortgages in order to borrow funds, are being destroyed and will never be returned. I am not sure if this matter falls under the jurisdiction of state records but the conversation needs to start somewhere.
We never agreed to this when we took out our bank loan. Whilst hard title documents may no longer be needed due to electronic records, I do not believe that it is right or fair to destroy the documents without the knowledge or consent of the property owners. Many of these documents are historic by their nature and extend back to colonial and federation times. If the the state and the banks don't want to care for the records, those that have not yet been destroyed should be offered back to the property owners, signed off as 'Historic Value Only', if necessary.

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Tim Kelly

13 Nov 2018

LEGAL RECORDS DESTROYED - WHY?
When I found out that all the records from the Adelaide Magistrates Court from 1980 to 2000 were destroyed I was absolutely gob smacked.
Can you imagine how people feel when trying to access a very important file and the response is
* "As per the previous email the Court does not hold these documents anymore, they have been destroyed, as per a direction granted by Parliament".
* "Records may have been approved for destruction if a summary record was also maintained and this was deemed to hold enough information of ongoing value".
* "...haven’t been able to identify a summary register of cases for the Adelaide Local Court covering 1980..."

The Draft Strategy and Appraisal Policy contain nice words and principles, but in the end, people with no connection or appreciation of a file, who may not even open and read a file, will be deciding to destroy a file, in fact thousands of files.
In regard to the file I was seeking to access, if any officer had actually read the file and understood the context, I do not believe that the file would have been destroyed.
As a principle, there should be an acknowledgement that those deciding to destroy files cannot know if these are or will be important or not. One suggestion to me was that higher court records are kept but the Adelaide Magistrates Court records were not as important. My view is that these records are the history of South Australia, and in destroying records on Adelaide's civil claims and many other areas of legal proceedings, denies the natural justice of history from being available and recoverable to individuals, families, future generations and historians.

As a second principle, South Australia should commit to digitising all records before hard copies are destroyed. If this is regarded as too onerous, then bring in some new people, ideas and technologies who are committed to making the task of digitising files faster and cheaper. It simply must be done.

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Grant Bussell

12 Nov 2018

I'd keep everything ... the cost of actually removing all that stuff is more than the cost of keeping it. The records mainly need to be kept dry, which is pretty easy in SA. All that information could provide a gem of a discovery in years to come.

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