Use ArchivesGateway

ArchivesGateway is a secure self-service portal for agencies to manage, access and control the records they have at QSA.

It is designed to:

  • give you full visibility of all your agency's records at QSA, including records with restricted metadata
  • give you streamlined access to QSA services including:
    • request the temporary loan or copies of files via the File Issue service
    • propose and manage the transfer of physical records to QSA
    • greater transparency of progress against file issues and transfers
  • allow you to self-manage ArchivesGateway roles, permissions and access delegations
  • provide you with digital delivery mechanisms
  • enable you to communicate with QSA about requests and transfers.

To access ArchivesGateway, you must be set up as a user either by QSA or by the Senior Agency Administrator for your agency.

Multi-factor authentication

ArchivesGateway uses Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and requires all users to provide both their login details and a security code that is generated every few seconds.

Security codes can be generated using the Google Authenticator app on your mobile device or through a SMS system to your mobile number.

This MFA is required for every login, regardless of whether you are on a secure Queensland Government network or not.

There are 3 user types in ArchivesGateway:

  • Senior Agency Administrator
  • Agency Administrator
  • Agency Contact

All users, regardless of permission levels, can search their records in ArchivesGateway and submit a Reading Room Request.

Each user can also be assigned different permissions based on what you need that user to be able to do within ArchivesGateway and their 'location'.

If your agency is smaller and only has minimal records management staff, you may not need all 3 user levels. However, all agencies with records at QSA must have a Senior Agency Admin user in ArchivesGateway.

Senior Agency Administrator

Senior Agency Administrators can:

  • see all levels of permissions
  • assign permissions for Agency Administrators and Agency Contacts
  • add 'locations' to your agency (i.e. business units or administration areas)
  • view and search all records controlled by their agency
  • submit File Issue, search and Reading Room requests
  • propose and manage transfers to QSA
  • access restricted records.

If they are also the authorised delegate for your agency, they can also:

The Senior Agency Administrator can set up other users in their agency to access ArchivesGateway.

Senior Agency Administrator users must be set up by QSA. If your agency needs access to ArchivesGateway and hasn't been set up yet, you can nominate a Senior Agency Administrator.

Agency Administrator

Agency Administrators can:

  • see levels of permissions assigned to users
  • can assign permissions to agency contacts
  • view and search all records controlled by their agency
  • request to access records in the Reading Room at QSA.

If Agency Administrators have been given permission by the Senior Agency Administrator, they can also:

  • submit File Issue and search requests
  • propose and manage transfers to QSA
  • set and change restricted access periods (must be authorised delegate)
  • grant access to restricted records (must be authorised delegate).

Agency Contact

Agency Contacts can:

  • view permission levels for other users
  • view and search all records controlled by their agency
  • request to access records in the Reading Room.

If they are also the authorised delegate for your agency, and/or given permission by the Senior Agency Administrator or the Agency Administrator they can:

  • submit file issue and search requests
  • propose and manage transfers to QSA
  • set and change restricted access periods (must be authorised delegate)
  • grant access to restricted records (must be authorised delegate).

They cannot assign permissions to any other users.

Creating and assigning locations

All agency users can be assigned to different 'locations' within your agency, where locations are specific business units or administrative areas.

You may need to assign them to multiple locations depending on the level of access they require to different types of records.

A user can also be assigned different permission levels based on their location.

To gain access to ArchivesGateway, QSA must first set up your agency's Senior Agency Administrator.

The Senior Agency Administrator must be nominated by a current agency delegate or the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) if your agency does not have a current delegate.

When the Senior Agency Administrator has been nominated, the delegate or CEO must notify QSA via an email to and provide the following details:

  • full name
  • position title
  • email address

Once QSA has been notified, the Senior Agency Administrator account for your agency will be set up in ArchivesGateway.

The nominated Senior Agency Administrator will then be provided with a welcome to ArchivesGateway email, that provides them with their login details, a link to ArchivesGateway and information to get them started.

ArchivesGateway allows you to see all records controlled by your agency that are at QSA.

Depending on user permissions, this includes:

  • records you have inherited from another agency as part of a machinery-of-government change
  • all restricted records, including those where the metadata is also restricted
  • records belonging to specific business units or areas if set up as separate 'locations' or 'agencies'
  • records of other agencies if you or your area are responsible for managing records of more than one agency or business unit.

In ArchivesGateway, you can see a list of all Series, Items and Representations associated with your agency and allow you to search them by keyword.

You will be able to see dates and parent records to give context to the material.

If you cannot find what you want, you can submit a search request to QSA.

QSA uses the new Item and Representation model for describing and managing records.

This model allows a record's metadata (the item), and the different physical and digital versions (representations) to be managed together.

Each record in the system has an 'item' and 1 or more physical or digital 'representations'.


The item captures the intellectual description of the record. It includes the metadata such as the title of the record, the restricted access period applied, the date it was created, which agency is responsible for the record etc.

The item is the information about the record and what you would see in the ArchivesSearch catalogue.

Note: In ArchivesGateway the term record in used to refer to the item.


Representations are the digital or physical versions of the record.

For example, an item could have:

  • a physical representation (the record on the shelf at QSA)
  • a digital representation (a scanned version of the whole or part of the physical record)
  • a microfilm representation
  • multiple digital representations for each of the scanned images from the original file.

The representation model allows for flexibility when describing an item. It also prepares QSA to describe born-digital records in the future.

When ownership or responsibility for records is transferred to another agency as part of a machinery-of-government (MOG) or administrative change, the new ownership will be reflected in ArchivesGateway.

While the transfer of responsibility is in progress, records will show an 'under movement' note against them.

There is a 3-month grace period where both the preceding and succeeding agency can:

  • view and search the records in ArchivesGateway
  • transfer any permanent value records to QSA
  • submit File Issue, search and Reading Room requests for the records involved.

Once the grace period is finished, the preceding agency will no longer be able to see or access the records in ArchivesGateway. If access is required, they will need to request access from the succeeding agency. If the records are over 30 years old and open to the public, they can be accessed at QSA.

If the succeeding agency is a new agency, delegations for records access will need to be authorised by their Chief Executive Officer using a Public records access delegation of authority form (DOCX, 160 KB) .  The authorised delegate information is then managed within ArchivesGateway by the agency's Senior Agency Administrator (SAA).

QSA will create Senior Agency Administrator accounts in ArchivesGateway on request from an agency's Chief Executive Officer, an authorised delegate or current SAA.  Senior Agency Administrators are also responsible for managing the new agency's other users and their permissions within the ArchivesGateway system.

For further information on MOG changes and the transfer of ownership for records, see:

More information

For more information on ArchivesGateway and the services available through the portal, see the advice on our websites.

If you need further assistance, email