On 1 February 1919 George Henry Pitt was appointed as Archivist to work in the newly established South Australian Archives Department.
Alongside Pitt, Mabel Hardy, B.A. was appointed Assistant Archivist.
Pitt and Hardy were tasked with identifying, preserving and making accessible official records for the use of students, historians and future South Australians.
The Archives Department was first housed in an old military store, which is now the Radford Auditorium at the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Now held over two repositories at Gepps Cross and Collinswood, State Records holds almost 90 linear kilometres of records. This central repository for official records and Pitt’s appointment as a professional Archivist were firsts for Australia.
The Archives Department would continue to be a leader in the management
of official records throughout the 20th century.
In 1925 South Australia was the first state to introduce legislation to regulate the destruction of government records.
State Records still works to identify, preserve and make accessible official records, but there have been many changes to our work in the last 100 years.
The first researchers at the Archives Department were mostly students undertaking the Tinline Scholarship in Imperial History at the University of Adelaide.
Today State Records’ Research Centre welcomes researchers from many backgrounds including students, lawyers and family historians.
The digital age has also changed the way records are created and preserved. State Records now also administers the Freedom of Information Act and the Information Privacy Principles Instruction, following the development of these legal concepts.
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