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

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

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

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

Only nominated delegates from the responsible agency with file issue permissions in ArchivesGateway can search and access original records and digital copies through the File Issue service.

Fees and charges are effective 1 August 2021.

Current fees are:

Item / unit descriptionUnit cost
Search fee$16.65 per 15 minutes
Retrieval$14.45 per record

Digital copy

(1-10 pages, 300 ppi; up to A3 size; PDF)

$1.85 per page

Digital copy

(11-20 pages, 300 ppi; up to A3 size; PDF)
$26.15 per order

Digital copy

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

$60.85 per order

Digital copy

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

$130.85 per order
Digital copy

(101-200 pages. 300 ppi; up to A3 size; PDF)
$296.55 per order

Additional fee for urgent orders

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

$32.30 per order

We send invoices quarterly.

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

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, 2.1 MB) .

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 physical 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. If you are unable to find the records in ArchivesGateway, you can submit a search request.

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

For more information on how to do file issue requests and physical and digital file issues in ArchivesGateway see the training video and user guide on the Use ArchivesGateway page.

You can search all your agency's records, even those still closed under a restricted access period, in ArchivesGateway.

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.

For guidance on how to search your records in ArchivesGateway, please see the search and search requests training videos and user guide on the Use ArchivesGateway page.

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 for yourself or on behalf of someone else.

Note: Currently, all visitors to the Reading Room need to pre-book. 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 through ArchivesGateway, you do not require any further permissions to access the records.

If you, or a member of the public, requests the records through ArchivesSearch, you will need to follow the process to grant or provide access to the restricted records using an Access to restricted records form (DOCX, 134 KB).

See the advice on how to provide access to restricted records and refer to the Reading Room requests training video and user guide on the Use ArchivesGateway page.

Some types of records cannot be issued on loan, however they may be viewed in the Reading Room or, depending on the circumstance, may be digitised. These include:

  • audio-visual such as film, VHS and cassette tapes
  • electronic media such as computer disks and hard drives
  • cards such as index cards, rates cards and identification cards (usually kept in card drawers and boxes)
  • photographic materials, 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
  • three dimensional objects, including those contained in a general paper file (such as models, exhibits, works of art, awards, stamps and seals) and items that present a health and safety risk (usually mould-affected items).

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

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 delivery

Digital deliveries will generally be processed and sent out within 4 business days from approval of the quote. However, delays may be experienced if the number or volume of requests is high or the files/registers are very large.

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 quote is approved by the agency (e.g. order submitted and quote approved by 12 noon on Monday will be ready for pick up by 9.00am on Wednesday).

Requests for collection of physical records must be submitted through ArchivesGateway by 12 noon 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.

Requests that may take longer to process

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

  • unusually large requests or items
  • where conservation work is required to enable access or digitisation
  • where records retrieved from cold storage require pre-conditioning (minimum 5 days).

File Issue offers an urgent request service for an additional fee.

Whenever possible, File Issue will offer same day processing for physical requests and 2 business days for digital requests.

Delays may be experienced if the number of requests is high or the files/registers are very large.

The loan period is 90 days, which is automatically applied by the system. Return dates are printed on the labels fixed to the packaging.

Agencies can use ArchivesGateway to view details of all records on loan and when they are due for return. Please return records within this loan period.

ArchivesGateway will notify you of any records due for return and records that are overdue.

If you require the records longer than 90 days, an extension may be granted. You can make a request for extensions through the messaging function in ArchivesGateway.

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.

You can return original records to QSA's loading bay from Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 4.00pm.

Please return records to QSA in the heavy-duty crates provided at collection.

Resources and tools

Resources and tools for records management have been developed to help you implement best practice records management in your agency.