Records 1983

Establishment of NT Archives Service

Since the Northern Territory (NT) gained Self-Government in 1978, the Australian Archives provided storage for, and services in respect of, records from NT departments and authorities, as agent for the NT Government.

Executive responsibility for the archives function passed from the Commonwealth to the Northern Territory Government from 1 July 1982.

That same year, the Australian Archives advised that the storage capacity of their Darwin building was almost exhausted and that they could not continue to provide storage services for NT Government records. 

It was proposed the NT Government establish its own archives accommodation.

The submission to Cabinet noted the demand for disposal, storage and reference services from NT Government agencies, and also the demand for archives reference services from agencies and members of the public. 

It was also suggested there was a danger that departments and authorities may inadvertently destroy important records by reason of lack of space or disposal services, underlining the need for an NT Archives Service.

Cabinet agreed with the proposal and authorised the Department of Community Development to establish an NT Archives Service as the archival authority of the government.

Cabinet approved that the objectives of the Northern Territory Archives Service would be:

  • promote efficient and economic management of NT Government records
  • preserve and make available all NT Government records possessing permanent reference value and not needed for administrative purposes 
  • provide archival services for non-government records of permanent reference value.

Cabinet directed the Archives Service be located in Darwin temporarily. The Archives Service proceeded to investigate purpose-built accommodation at Palmerston on or adjacent to the University site.

Read the Cabinet decision - submission number 2585 and decision number 3035 of 7 July 1983 PDF (3.6 MB).

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Last updated: 14 April 2021

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