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Archives Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) This Policy sets out the responsibilities, objectives, functions and administrative arrangements of the University of Queensland Archives, and incorporates the requirements of the legislative environment mandated by Queensland State Archives.

(2) The University of Queensland is a public authority and is subject to the provisions of the Public Records Act 2002. This Policy covers all acquisitions by the University of Queensland Archives.

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Section 2 - Principles and Key Requirements

(3) The University of Queensland Archives (University Archives) preserves records of The University of Queensland having continuing value. It provides services which make those records accessible to the University community and to the general public, in accordance with the Public Records Act 2002 and relevant Retention and Disposal Schedules.

(4) The University Archives operates as the institutional repository for University records having legal, administrative, historical and ephemeral value. Equally, the Archives holdings substantiate corporate accountability, reflect administrative operational history and enhance societal memory through research, teaching, and outreach to the University and greater community.

(5) The records sought and retained in the University Archives include, but are not limited to:

  1. Official records of the University:
    Official records of the University include those of the Senate and its committees, the Executive Divisions, Schools, Faculties, Centres, Institutes, Offices and Units.
  2. Staff files: 
    The records of academic and administrative staff where they contain official records or document University business which is not documented in central filing systems.
  3. Records of University organisations and societies: 
    The records of organisations and societies which operate on campus and document the social and cultural activities of the University.
  4. Records of people closely associated with the University: 
    The University Archives may accept records of Senate Members, honorary graduates, benefactors, visiting fellows, graduates, students, or others associated with the University.

(6) The University of Queensland creates records in many formats and the majority of records created, received and maintained as evidence of University business activities are of short-term rather than long-term value and do not need be preserved in the University Archives.

(7) The Public Records Act 2002 and the Keeping Records at UQ Procedure assign values to official records and authorise their retention and destruction under the provisions of the Act.

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Section 3 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Senior Management

(8) Senior Management are responsible in ensuring the University’s compliance with the requirements of the Public Records Act 2002 including the principles and standards established by the Queensland State Archives.


(9) The University Archivist is responsible for the operational management of the University Archives in addition to the identification, collection and preservation of archival records, facilitation of access to archival holdings and contribution to the management of University records and knowledge.

Records Governance

(10) Records Governance is responsible for:

  1. the management of the University’s records management system (Content Manager);
  2. advising staff on UQ’s record keeping and records disposal obligations under the Public Records Act 2002; and
  3. advising Organisational Units on best practice compliant record keeping strategies, including records capture via business process design for reduced manual overheads and burden on business operations.

University Staff

(11) All University employees are obligated to transfer records of archival value, such as signed minutes from the University Senate, Academic Board and other legislated committees, to the University Archives.

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Section 4 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(12) The University Archives, together with the Queensland State Archives, will work to comply with requirements as set out in the Public Records Act 2002 and when requested will provide inventories of records held in the possession that are 30 years or older.

(13) The University Archives will also review this Policy to ensure of its currency and accuracy.

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Section 5 - 3 - Recording and Reporting

(14) The University Archives will identify, appraise, collect, preserve and provide custodial management and/or advise on the preservation of the archival records of the administrative and academic units of the University and its precursor institutions in compliance with the Public Records Act 2002 and applicable standards and guidelines.

(15) The University Archives will also collect and provide custodial management of archival material from individuals and organisations closely associated with the University.

(16) The University Archives will accept donations that fall within the collection mandate of the University Archives on the understanding that ownership and control of the records will be transferred to the University, unless otherwise negotiated.

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Section 6 - Appendix

Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Term Definition
Archives/archival records The non-current records created by an organisation that are a direct result of administrative or organisational activity and hold permanent status in a current and authorised retention schedule or have continuing or permanent value. In the case of the University this value may be administrative, legal, scientific, research, historical or ephemeral. Archival records comprise multiple formats including paper, digital, audio visual, and photographic.
Continuing Value The value of records beyond their immediate administrative purpose for future business needs, accountability, evidence, and research.
Ephemeral Materials, usually printed documents, created for a specific, limited purpose, and generally designed to be discarded after use. A repository may collect ephemera as examples or specimens.
Official Records Created or received by University employees in the course of undertaking University business, which are regarded as the property of the University.
Personal Papers Records created or received by a person which are not part of the University’s official recordkeeping systems (but may include official records of University business).
Preservation Minimising chemical, environmental and physical deterioration and damage by employing best practice standards and codes to minimise the loss of information and to extend the life material.
Record (AS ISO 15489) As defined by the Australian Records Management Standard, records are recorded information, in any form, including electronic formats, created, or received and maintained by an organisation or person in the transaction of business or the conduct of affairs and kept as evidence of such activity.
Repository A central place in which archival records are kept and maintained in an organised way.
Senior Management The Vice-Chancellor, Chief Operating Officer, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Executive Deans and Directors and other senior level administrators and managers.
Series Can be a group of records documenting the same process of University business which are maintained in a system, such as an alphabetical or numbered set of files, also used when describing non-administrative material.
University business Includes all forms of its teaching and learning, research, community service, administrative, commercial and cultural activities.