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Memento : Issue 17
4 memento may 2001 O ver the years we have collected hundreds of thousands of shelf metres of records created by government. To house them, we have needed huge repositories in every State and Territory. It is part of sound archival practice to review the collection to make sure that we are keeping the right records, in the right places, and in the best way for all Australians to have access to them. We've discovered that many of the records deposited with us in the past have no archival value. In Australia we have collected far more records than other national archival institutions, especially In Adelaide in July we move into our new premises in what used to be the Old Colonist Hotel. Although the building dates back to the 1840s, the facilities will be completely updated to house our records and a new reading room. The building is on the corner of Angas Street and Chancery Lane -- an amazing coincidence as Chancery Lane in London was the address of the Public Record Office for more than 100 years! Over the summer, our Canberra building was home to two keen scholars, Kate Fielding and Peter Roberts, the inaugural winners of our summer scholarships. In their six weeks at the Archives, they searched our collection for information on selected research topics -- lighthouses and Prime Ministers' wives. Lighthouses -- Kate Fielding 'Lighthouses may seem a rather obscure area of research. I myself was a little puzzled at the outset of my scholarship as to exactly what I might find. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Archives collection contains many beautiful photos, architectural drawings and documents relating to Australian lighthouses. I pursued a number of themes, ranging from family life and isolation to indigenous people's involvement with lighthouse construction. 'My research was directed towards a proposed Archives exhibition, and it was a great feeling to know that my work would be used. I also had the chance to see the range of material the Archives holds -- maps of cities that were never built, personal letters, private investigators reports and old books so huge that I couldn't lift them. on the Archives Reproduced with permission from the State Library of South Australia, B9767. 'What I did in the holidays...' This is what they discovered.