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Donate, sell or give away records

Donation of records

Some agencies may wish to donate particular records to a local history society or museum.

Public records cannot be disposed of without the authority of the State Archivist. This includes selling, donating, giving away or the transfer of temporary or permanent public records to a local history society or museum.

A local government can transfer records to a local government-owned entity (such as a library), as the records remain within the custody of the local government.

Any transfer of records to a non-government organisation would need to be authorised by the State Archivist.

If records have already been transferred to an external local history society or museum, or it is being contemplated, contact QSA to discuss possible options relating to the transfer.

Sell or give records to a private entity

Public records have value to the state and due consideration should be taken before they are sold or given to the private sector.

They are usually only given or sold to a private organisation if they are specifically included in the legislation enabling the sale.

Selling or giving away records is a form of disposal and must be authorised. This can be done through legislation enabling the privatisation, other legal instrument or by authorisation of the State Archivist.

Privatising a function or government entity can be complicated and have multiple recordkeeping implications. Involve QSA in the planning stages so we can advise on how records should be managed and transferred. We will also help you ensure responsibility for the records is appropriately managed.

Make sure you no longer need the records or keep copies of records you may still need.

Find out how to provide access to public records for private organisations.

Find out about privatisation of functions and machinery-of-government changes.