| State Records - where to now?
As announced in the lead up to Christmas, State Records of SA was to discontinue its short association in the form of co-location with the State Library and Adelaide office of the National Archives of Australia. State Records has retreated to its repository to the north of Adelaide well off any public transport route and so disadvantaging many of its clients by denying them easy cheap access.
This is but the next step in a sorry tale as the organisation tries to juggle its ever diminishing share of funding. The ideal world for State Records came to an end in 2014 when it closed its central Adelaide and repository reading rooms and moved to the State Library. This in itself was an excellent concept but in tandem with this move the decision was taken to close the reading room attached to the repository. This meant difficulty for clients wanting to access fragile and/or oversized material and those working at extended research. On the positive side we had all the Adelaide archival reading rooms at the one venue because the Adelaide office of the National Archives of Australia had already closed its city reading room and co-located with State Records forcing them to come along when State Records moved to the State Library. This new arrangement suited most users and from a client perspective seemed to work well. All that came to an end when the State Library, also stuck for funds, decided to put the rent up to an unacceptable level!
One now has to wonder how long the National Archives will remain as tenants in the State Library.
As far as archivists are concerned, the protection of the collection is paramount and their clients’ needs come last as they try to juggle their ever decreasing budget. This is quite understandable but difficult for clients who want decent access. This impasse will continue until the State Government comes to the realisation that the retention of records is very important but access is equally important and State Records is funded appropriately.
In 2016 State Records will be open Tuesday to Friday 9:30 to 4:30pm and on the second Sunday of the month by appointment only.
What happened to Adelaide Proformat?
In the past few months I have undertaken a number of changes to my business model. With the retirement of my wife after fifty years of teaching and the fact that I have well and truly exceeded my allocated three score and ten years, the business, Adelaide Proformat, was closed in October and work is now restricted to advice and record agent. I will no longer undertake extensive research programs, or author, edit and publish books for clients. Seminar presentations will be limited to the Adelaide area supporting librarians within an hour's travel. I will continue to draft family trees suitable for display using records provided by the client, prepare facsimile SA BDM certificates, retrieve Probate Registry, Supreme Court, Lands Titles Office, General Register Office records, convene the Scottish Interest Group for SA Genealogy & Heraldry Society, and tutor in family history for the WEA. I also plan to continue publishing this newsletter.