Reading Room Rules

State Records requires public users to adhere to its Reading Room Rules when visiting. User registration may be cancelled or withdrawn if the Rules are not adhered to.

Before you enter the Research Centre

You must be a registered user before you enter the Reading Room. This may be completed online via our catalogue ArchivesSearch (see Public User Registration) or when you visit the Research Centre for the first time.

Registered users will be issued with a membership card. Users are responsible for the materials issued to them in the Research Centre, and must not permit anyone else to use their card. Lost cards should be drawn to the attention of State Records staff.

All bags (e.g. handbags, shopping bags, satchels, laptop bags, document holders) must be checked in at the lockers prior to entering the Research Centre. You may bring in small personal items such as laptops, notebooks, loose papers, glasses, wallets/purses, keys and pencils.

When you enter the Research Centre

Please show your card to the Customer Service Officer on duty to enter the Research Centre.

Please switch your mobile phone off or to silent mode, and exit the Research Centre if you need to answer it or make a call.

No food or drink – including water bottles – may be taken in to the Research Centre.

Please behave with consideration for others in the room, by refraining from loud or unnecessary conversations with others.

Viewing records in the Research Centre

The following conditions apply to the viewing of records:

  • Records may not be removed from the Reading Room. All records must be returned before you leave the room for the day.

  • Notes may be taken by using electronic devices or pencil and paper - no ink pens may be used.

  • You must not lean on, trace records or use them as a support for writing.

  • You must handle all records gently and wear cotton gloves supplied if requested.

  • You must not mark, annotate or damage the records.

  • Please turn pages carefully, and not with moistened fingers. Rubber finger stalls are available on request.

  • Files must not be taken apart. Please maintain original fasteners and order of records.

  • Please place large volumes on the reading table so that no part of the item hangs over the edge of the table. Supports and pillows are provided to protect binding on volumes.

  • Please ensure your hands are clean and free from hand lotions and moisturisers. These lotions will cause the paper to stain and accelerate any deterioration.

  • If you come across a record in poor condition please bring it to the attention of staff.

  • Some archival materials can only be viewed with the permission of the responsible agency. Staff will assist you by providing you with agency contact details, however it is your responsibility to obtain and show such permission to staff before viewing these materials.

  • Wherever possible, original records will be made available to customers to view in the Reading Room. Where records are fragile or in an unstable condition, it may be necessary to provide alternative access by way of a copy. Where items are severely degraded, access may need to be withheld entirely. In these cases, staff will explain why access cannot be granted.

Use of cameras in the Research Centre

If you wish to photograph records within the Reading Room you must first sign a permission form. Public Users only need to sign the permission form once.

You may use your own camera to photograph records, or use the digital camera or other devices available in the Reading Room for this purpose. Images taken with in-house devices may be transferred to a customer’s USB or CD.

The following conditions apply to the photographing of records:

  • Some records may not be suitable for photographing due to their format or condition, so please check with staff before you start

  • Flash photography is not permitted

  • Hand held and flatbed scanners are not permitted

  • Documents, files and volumes must not be forced open or dismantled for photographing

  • Photography must not disturb other customers - any audio signals emitted by cameras must be switched off

  • The photography of records must comply with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968

  • Permission from the copyright owner must be sought prior to publishing images of records.

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