Frequently Asked Questions
What are archives?
The term ‘archives’ commonly has two meanings. It can be used to refer to either the records of an individual or organisation that have on-going value, or an agency or building responsible for the selection, storage, preservation and use of archival records.
What is the City Archives?
The City Archives is responsible for preserving the archives of the Corporation of the City of Adelaide.
What sorts of records does the City Archives hold?
The Archives holds the records of the Adelaide City Council and the Corporation of the City of Adelaide dating back to 1840. These records only relate to the area administered by the City Council, that is the Adelaide CBD, North Adelaide and the Park Lands surrounding the City.
What are finding aids?
Finding aids are the tools which provide access to archival material. They are the means by
which sources of information can be found in an Archives. They provide a link between
researcher and the records.
What aids does the City Archives have to help me find information?
At the City Archives the Finding Aids are kept in the Reference and Guide Area. They comprise various indexes, manuals and guides to records, some of which were created by the original users of the records, others of which have been prepared by Archives staff to help researchers identify which records are most likely to contain the information they are looking for.
How do I get access to the Council’s archives?
Council policy provides for the generality of records which are more than 30 years old to be made available to the public for research use. Requests for access to records which are less than 30 years old are generally referred to the relevant Council department to determine what may be made accessible.
Will the Archives do my research for me?
No. Researchers are expected to carry out their own research. It is not the role of the Archivist to do this, however Archives staff will assist you in identifying and accessing records which are most relevant to your research topic.
What does Copyright mean?
Copyright is the exclusive legal right to copy and control the use of creative works, either published or unpublished. Copyright belongs to the creator of the work. It protects the creator against unauthorised use or reproduction of his or her work. Archival material is subject to the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 in the same way as other literary or artistic materials.
How can I get copies of old Photographs?
The Archives holds negatives of many of its early photographs, and copies of these can generally be made within a few days. Where negatives of archival photographs are not held, then the copying process can take longer. Original photographs will only be copied at the discretion of the Archivist.
For further information please contact the Adelaide City Council Customer Centre on (08) 8203 7203.