PROV has operated the Ballarat Archive Centre (BAC) since the early 1980s. The BAC includes a Reading Room (operating between 10.00am – 4.30pm Monday & Tuesday), a Repository currently holding approximately 1500 linear metres of records, as well as a staff work and amenities area.
Over the years the facility has suffered numerous water leaks, efflorescence is occurring (and while not harmful to humans it can damage some collection items) and there is a rising damp problem. The Centre is cramped and while risks are managed they cannot be totally resolved as they are all issues related to the building’s structure. As such, the current facility is coming to the end of its useful life.
Discussions have been ongoing with other local cultural institutions to determine if our Reading Room services can be effectively relocated and our collection stored in a secure and environmental controlled facility within the Ballarat region.
- Secure the collection at a site that meets PROV’s Storage Standard PRO 11/1 Specification 2 Storing and Managing State Archives.
- Deliver a new service delivery model that is effective in meeting researcher needs and which is financially viable.
- Ensure ongoing costs of the new service delivery models are budget neutral.
- Ensure a smooth and efficient transition of PROV’s public facing services into the nominated location.
- Researchers will be provided with access to better facilities and the Reading Room hours may be increased.
- Records will be stored in a facility that protects the collection and meets PROV’s Storage Standard.
- Health and safety risks for staff will be reduced by moving to a new site that meets PROV’s standards and a better designed and functional repository space.
- There will be increased access to the Collection through the digitisation of more Ballarat records, which will be undertaken ahead of schedule to support the relocation.
- Temporary records held in the Collection will be distributed to Places of Deposit within the region.
Current Status – December 2017
The project is currently in the assessment phase e.g. identifying costs, possible locations, working arrangements etc. This assessment will help inform if we proceed with the project. Once a decision is reached, we are aiming for the first half of 2018, all stakeholders will be notified. Should this date be delayed will we also advise new dates.
Researcher survey summary results
A survey was conducted over several weeks in August - September 2017. Survey forms were located in the Ballarat Reading Room for visiting researchers to complete. A number of forms were also taken away for various groups to complete. The Senior Manager Collection Services attended Ballarat on a number of occasions to discuss with researchers the project. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey and discussions. Your feedback will help inform our decision making around this project, in particular we will address your concerns around:
- Opening hours and level of service.
- Facility location, including distance from the existing site and Civic Centre.
- Daily record delivery limits.
- Researcher facilities and support.
Additional information will be posted on this page as decisions are made and information becomes available. We will also communicate with local groups and researchers directly and via our other channels including social media and newsletter.