About the Tasmanian Archives

The Tasmanian Archives preserves Tasmania’s documentary heritage. Material is collected for its historic associations, research value, social and cultural significance. The Tasmanian Archives include both Government and non-Government (Community) material. The Archives include material dating from early European settlement to the present day.

What are archives?

Archives are original, primary records. Archives can include personal papers (diaries, letters, etc.), organisational records (correspondence, minutes, event planning, etc.), and collections (photographs and items collected by someone). The Tasmanian Archives are acquired from government agencies, purchase, donation or bequest.

Government Archives

Government agencies and authorities are required by the Archives Act 1983 (Tas) to transfer ‘permanent’ State Records to Tasmanian Archives. Which records are permanent is determined though Disposal Schedules developed by the combined work of the Office of the State Archivist, Agencies, and a Government archives team.  Schedules analyse what an Agency does, its core functions, and the records that are created of these functions. The disposal schedule sets out how long certain records need to be kept and which once’s need to be State Archives.

We keep records that:

  • provide evidence of legal status and entitlements of individuals and groups. For example: birth, death and marriage registrations, land ownership and probate
  • are evidence of the authority, foundation and machinery of government and public sector bodies
  • record significant government decisions and their impact
  • protect or help the well-being of the community
  • are a valuable cultural resource.

Community Archives

Community Archives document the story of Tasmania and its communities through personal, family, organisational and business records. The focus of the collection is material created or accumulated by Tasmanians, or about Tasmanians. Items in the Community Archives may include photographs, volumes, diaries, albums, papers, minutes, AV recordings, maps/plans, films, and can include both physical item and digital items. The Launceston Manuscript collection is part of the Community Archives.


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