Like so many other historical archives, the National Archives of Australia is facing a budget shortfall. Their solution? They’re closing smaller regional offices and relying more on an existing service that lets patron request records via the web:
According to the Director-General of the Australian Archives, Ross Gibbs, the proposed closures were consistent with a growing reality that very few people walk into the NAA offices to peek into the collection.
The overwhelming majority make contact from their desk, ask the archivists to find what they need and send it to them.
This negates the need for regional offices. It is possible to store the documents in a central location and send them wherever they are needed. Last year more than two million people logged onto the NAA website and many requested documents that were scanned and emailed to them.
Welcome to the digital age.
Indeed. Here at Genlighten, we kind of like the idea of having people log on to a website and request documents that are scanned and uploaded to their accounts on that site.