Transfer records to QSA

Learn what you need to do to transfer permanent archival value public records to Queensland State Archives (QSA). Alternatively, find out about transferring records during a machinery-of-government change.

QSA collects and manages Queensland public records of enduring value with ongoing usefulness or significance to the state. These records are then made available for present and future generations.

See the transferring records mythbuster (PDF, 100 KB).

1. Records that can be transferred

Any records to be transferred to QSA must be designated as permanent . This is done through a current retention and disposal schedule or a decision by the State Archivist.

Records for transfer should be inactive and no longer required by your agency for business use – it should be unlikely that your agency needs to recall these records after transfer.

Note: Records that are open or with a restricted access period less than 30 years will be prioritised for transfer. Please contact the QSA Transfers Officer if you have any questions.

2. Records that cannot be transferred

All digital permanent value records must remain in your agency as they cannot be transferred to QSA at this time.

Hybrid records must also remain in your agency. They contain both digital and physical components which should be transferred at the same time.

Records with a disposal action of ‘retain permanently by agency’ are also not eligible for transfer to Queensland State Archives.

If records have certain types of pests or damage, or are excessively dirty, QSA may not be able to take them until the problem has been dealt with. Contact QSA for more information or to assess damaged records.

Fragile records (e.g. glass plate negatives) or records in poor condition must be discussed with QSA first.

3. Before you transfer

Contact the QSA Transfers Officer to find out when you can transfer your records and how they should be prepared.

You’ll need to fill out the Transfer proposal form (DOCX, 184 KB) for the records you propose to transfer.

If your transfer proposal is approved, the records will need to be listed (XLS, 59 KB) and boxed ready for transfer and restricted access periods set. A transfer number will be allocated to the records and used as an identifier in correspondence.

Ensure you allow plenty of time to prepare for and manage the transfer.

If your transfer proposal is not approved, reasons will be given as to why the records are not accepted.

Each single transfer must not exceed 400 type 1 archive boxes or equivalent. A sequence of transfers can be arranged if necessary.

4. List the records

Use the Item list template (XLS, 59 KB) to list all records for transfer. The template includes specific fields to be completed and are used to import the information into QSA’s archival management system. These fields must not be amended.

All items must be listed individually (e.g. file, folder, register, map). Multiple parts should be listed separately and part numbers included as part of the description.

Items should be physically arranged, boxed and listed in their original order where possible.

This list forms the basis for information uploaded to QSA’s archival management system and public catalogue.

The item list is checked against the records when they arrive at QSA. Items must be boxed or packed in the same order as the list.

The list must not include any items not being transferred-items missing or on loan should be returned before the transfer or removed from the list.

A separate list should be used for large series. Multiple smaller series, including series consisting of a single item, can be listed on the same template with a blank line left between series.

5. Box the records

Archival boxes

Use a Type 1 archive box to transfer standard-sized records to QSA.

Archive boxes are a certain size and shape, and are the best type of storage for hard copy records.

If you have records that are not an A4 size, contact QSA about suitable archival containers.

Type 1 archive box

Type 1 archive box

Archival boxes are available from Winc (formerly Staples) under a Queensland Government standing offer arrangement (you need a government account number to view the boxes).

Boxes must not be over-packed as this can damage the records. An open hand should be able to fit down the inside of the box.

Loose attachments such as reports, brochures or specifications should be physically housed in a folder or file cover with the related item. There should be no loose documents in boxes.

All details on the box should be written in black permanent marker pen. Do not use adhesive labels. Write the box number at the bottom of the box face and the departmental number or alphabetical range (if applicable) in the middle. Leave the top third of the box face vacant for QSA use.

Registers and other volumes

Registers and other volumes do not need particular boxes as they are usually too large and will be placed directly onto shelving at QSA.

Any suitable box can be used for transportation purposes.

Maps and plans

Maps and plans are not boxed and are placed into suitable repository storage at QSA.

For large volume transfers of maps or plans, you may need to provide suitable plan folders.

Issues relating to housing and transporting of maps and plans should be discussed with the QSA Transfers Officer.

6. Transport of records

Agencies are responsible for the costs of transporting records to QSA.

Transportation companies must be aware of specific requirements in handling permanent archival value records. Vehicles should be covered, locked and attended to at all times. They must not be used for transporting other materials, such as chemicals, that may damage the records.

You can include security and confidentiality requirements in the transportation contract. Consider if insurance is necessary.

Large quantities of registers or volumes should be placed on pallets with a protective layer of cardboard between the pallet and the items. Pallets should then be shrink-wrapped to prevent movement and damage to the records. Boxes can be on pallets if necessary but it is not required.

Contact QSA prior to transportation to confirm the arrangements or if you have any questions.

The delivery address is:

Queensland State Archives
435 Compton Road

7. Transfer completion

QSA will send an email and transfer report containing information you can use to identify your records in future.

The report will contain the:

  • series information
  • item descriptions
  • dates
  • restricted access periods
  • QSA series and item numbers.

A separate list of variations may be provided if substantial issues with the list were identified during checks (e.g. missing items, incorrect descriptions).

8. After transfer

Once records have been transferred, QSA will confirm all details are correct and check for pests, and damage.

We then catalogue records according to archival standards.

If you need to access the records after they have been transferred, you can request this through the file issue service.

9. Resources and tools