Archival Statistics 2004

Conducted by State Records NSW on behalf of the Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities.


The statistics for 2004 cover 10 archival institutions:


The Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities (CAARA) collects statistics on behalf of Australia’s archival institutions. CAARA members complete surveys on an annual basis while non-CAARA archival institutions will be asked to complete a survey every 5th year. The last survey extending beyond CAARA was undertaken in 2001 and covered 34 archival institutions.

The current survey for the year ending 30 June 2004 was undertaken by State Records NSW and covers the 10 CAARA members.

Survey Process

Surveys were sent out to all CAARA members in electronic form on 17 May 2005 with a return date of 10 June 2005. The final response was received on 12 July 2005.

Only minor changes had been made to the 2003 survey form to aid understanding for respondents. Questions were consistent with previous years to allow for comparisons.


The responses for all participants are at Appendix A. To benchmark the results a time series data analysis was completed for 1996-2004 and is shown in Appendix B.

The gaps that occur in some sections of the table are a result of participants being unable to answer the question accurately with the resources available to them. Many of these gaps are explained in the notes at the end of the table.

Comments on Selected Results


The 2004 figures show an increase of holdings of 2% over 2003. All institutions recorded an increase in holdings during the period.

The quantity of holdings has increased 65.18% between 1996 and 2004. A small part of this increase was due to the inclusion of holdings from the Territory Records Office for the first time in 2003.

Reference services

Trends identified in the previous survey — decrease in reading room activity and increase in total enquiries received — continued in 2004. Visits to reading rooms have decreased by 16.57% since 1996, including a fall of 3.92% from 2003 to 2004. At the same time, enquiries received in all forms have increased by 199.08% since 1996, however has shown a fall of 4.89% between 2003 and 2004.

Online access

Website statistics have only been included in the CAARA survey since 2001. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of “unique visits” to members’ websites: 534.55% since 2001. From 2003 to 2004 alone there was an increase of 47.31%.

While the way CAARA members count the unique visits (or sessions) and “hits” vary, depending on online searching tools and the power of the searching tool, each institution with a website reported an increase.