Retrieve or access your agency's records at QSA (File Issue service)

Queensland State Archives no longer delivers records to the Brisbane CBD. However, our File Issue service will continue to provide access to agency records held at QSA digitally and records can also be collected from QSA by agency staff or by a courier.
For more information, contact the File Issue team.

If you need your agency's records after they’ve been transferred to QSA, you can recall them temporarily via our File Issue service.

Alternatively, you can access them in the Reading Room at QSA free of charge.

File Issue is a fee-based service providing short term recall on a loans basis and is subject to QSA policies.

Fees and charges

Fees and charges are effective 1 July 2019.

Current fees are:

Item / unit description Unit cost
Search fee $16.35 per 15 minutes
Retrieval–Standard $14.20 per record

Digital copy/scanning
(1-20 pages, 300 ppi; up to A3 size; PDF)

$1.80 per page

Digital copy/scanning

(21-50 pages, 300 ppi; up to A3 size; PDF)

$59.85 per order

Digital copy/scanning

(51-100 pages, 300 ppi; up to A3 size; PDF)

$128.65 per order

Additional fee for urgent orders

(Urgent status is if required sooner than standard turnaround times)

$31.75 per order

We send invoices quarterly.

Note: These fees and charges are also available in ArchivesGateway.

Quotes for File Issue requests

Quotes are included as part of the File Issue request process in ArchivesGateway, including the option to pre-approve quotes or approve a quote once it has been issued by QSA.

Requests will be processed once a quote is approved by the agency.

Quotes are issued at request/order level and are calculated based on what is requested and how many items or pages are required.

For more information on quotes and understanding how fees are calculated and applied, see the File Issue requests user guide (PDF, 2.07 MB).

How to request records through File Issue

Use the File Issue request section under 'My File Issues' in ArchivesGateway to request records.

You can request records to be delivered digitally through ArchivesGateway, or you can request physically records and collect them from QSA.

You can also request to access physical records in our Reading Room at QSA without charge.

To complete your File Issue request, please use the search function within the request form to locate the records and then add them to a request. Transfer reports provided by QSA can also assist you in searching for these records.

See an example of requesting records through the file issue service.

Only nominated delegates from the responsible agency can access original records and digital copies through the File Issue service within ArchivesGateway.

Existing digital copies of open records may be accessed through ArchivesSearch.

We issue audio visual (magnetic and film-based including microfilm) and electronic media such as computer disks and hard drives on the condition that your agency has the correct viewing equipment.

Search requests

You can search all your agency’s records, even those still closed under a restricted access period, in ArchivesGateway. For guidance on how to search your records, please refer to the ArchivesGateway user guide: Searching and search requests service. (PDF, 832 KB)

If you are unable to locate the records you are looking for, you can submit a search request through ArchivesGateway. We will then conduct a search of your records for up to one hour for a fee.

When you submit a search request in ArchivesGateway, provide as much detail as possible to help us identify the specific records you require, such as item ID’s, names, place/institution, departmental control numbers, and dates.

Search requests related to the National Redress Scheme, Right to Information, and Royal Commissions currently do not incur a search fee or time limitation. You can indicate in the search request if records are required for one of these purposes.

Records found during the search can be requested from QSA via the File Issue service in ArchivesGateway.

What records can't be requested

You cannot access the following record formats through the File Issue service:

  • photographic, other than those included in a general paper file
  • maps and plans not included in a general paper file
  • fragile items at risk of damage in transit
  • letterpress books which contain iron gall ink
  • 3 dimensional objects, including those contained in a general paper file
  • items that present a health and safety risk (usually mould-affected).

You may be able to access these records in the Reading Room at QSA.

For further information, contact the File Issue team.

Reading Room requests

You can request to access your agency’s records in the Reading Room at QSA at no charge.

Reading Room requests are managed through ArchivesGateway and can be made on behalf of yourself or someone else.

Note: Currently, all visitors to the Reading Room need to pre-book a session. To book a session and find out more about accessing the Reading Room, see the Reading Room bookings on Eventbrite.

Requests to access restricted records

If you are submitting a Reading Room request for closed or restricted records, the person accessing the records must have permission to access these records.

If they do not have permission, you will need to follow the process to grant or provide access to the restricted records.

See the advice on how to provide access to restricted records and the Reading Room request user guide (PDF, 841 KB) for more information.

Delivery and collection of records

Digital delivery

Delivery of records through the File Issue service and ArchivesGateway defaults to digital delivery on the request form.

If you want to request a physical record, you must change the relevant selection on the form in ArchivesGateway.

Digital deliveries will be processed and sent out within 4 business days from approval of the quote.

Digital copies are delivered through the File Issue section in ArchivesGateway, where you can download and save the digital copy to your own system. The link to the digital records expires after 14 days.

We can digitise most paper-based records and provide scanned copies in PDF. We charge fees accordingly and orders are processed and sent out within 4 business days from the date the quote has been approved.

Collection of physical records

Physical files can be collected from QSA’s loading bay from Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 4.00pm.

Physical record requests will be processed and ready for collection 2 business days after the request is submitted (e.g. order submitted by 5.00pm Tuesday will be ready for pick up by 9.00am on Thursday).

Requests for collection of physical records must be submitted through ArchivesGateway by 5pm each day.

We will notify you in ArchivesGateway once your order is ready for collection. Records can be collected either by agency staff or by a courier.

Items that may take longer to process

We will notify you if particular orders will take longer to process, such as:

  • where conservation work is required to enable access
  • where records retrieved from cold storage require pre-conditioning (minimum 5 days)
  • complex formats.

Loan period for physical records

The loan period is 90 days. All records should be returned within this loan period.

We issue 6-monthly notifications for overdue loans.

Care of physical records on loan

We expect that agencies will have robust internal policies and procedures to ensure the appropriate tracking, safekeeping and timely return of records to us.

Archival records are only to be used in an office environment and are not to be taken home by individual staff working from home.

Archival records can be aged and fragile. Follow the recommendations below while these records are in your care:

  • Leave records in their archival packaging when not in use
  • Do not alter records in any way
  • Keep documents in their original order
  • Avoid damage
  • Don’t apply sticky notes, labels or adhesive page markers, or use pens, highlighters or other writing tools to write on records
  • Don’t dog ear pages—use loose paper flags instead but remember to remove them before returning
  • Use records in a clean environment away from food, drink, moisture, heat and insects
  • Never attempt to repair records (e.g. using sticky tape).
  • Notify QSA immediately of any damage or loss.

Returning physical records

In ArchivesGateway you can see all records currently on loan to your agency and when they are due for return.

You will also be notified in ArchivesGateway of any upcoming items due for return and items that are overdue.

Archival records are only to be used in an office environment and are not to be taken home by individual staff working from home.

Contact the File Issue team

For queries regarding File Issue services, including specific orders or billing, call (07) 3037 6625 or email:

For queries about RTI or Royal Commissions, call (07) 3037 6734 or email:

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