In late 2011, the State Records Authority of New South Wales announced the closure of the city reading room effective 30 June 2012. The History Council of NSW believes that the access to records is fundamental to the study of history.
State Records has been directed, along with other state government agencies, to make substantial savings to their budgets. Over the next four years State Records is expected to save a total of $1.8 million.
State Records is one of NSW’s key cultural institutions and an invaluable research facility for any historian’s investigations into aspects of the functioning of the state, from colonial and convict history, through all the permeations of the state’s role in people’s lives.
While the History Council acknowledges the challenges faced by State Government to be fiscally responsible, the budget cuts imposed on State Records NSW has a severe impact on the accessibility of records and services.
The cuts will downgrade the archives, undermining its position as a key cultural institution, limiting access for key user groups, and hampering the organisation’s role to inform and support state government, especially in its ongoing role in the state’s Digital Archives as well as guiding digitisation of records across NSW government.
A full Executive Summary of the issue can be found at
The Petition of citizens of New South Wales brings to the attention of the House the ongoing cuts to funding for State Records NSW leading to the decision to close the city reading room and placing the ongoing preservation of digital archives in jeopardy.
The undersigned petitioners therefore ask the Legislative Assembly to guarantee the maintenance of funding for State Records, commit to ongoing funding for the preservation of digital born files and provide a city access point to ensure the records are reachable for everybody.