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Memento : Issue 30
The impetus behind ADRI is the challenge facing all government archival authorities today: finding a way to capture, manage and preserve digital records so that they are available in the future. Our reliance on technology puts the long- term preservation of records created in a digital environment at risk. The increasing speed with which software and hardware now become obsolete makes it vital that digital records are stored in a standard and stable format. Dr Peter Shergold, Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, in his launch address of ADRI in late 2004, emphasised the importance of keeping records for good public administration and ensuring that digital records are not carelessly or unthinkingly deleted. ‘Without concerted action,’ he warned, ‘we are threatened with digital amnesia’. All of the national, state and territory public records institutions in Australia and New Zealand have joined together to form ADRI. This extensive collaborative effort maximises the best use of limited collective resources and helps to promote a shared approach to digital recordkeeping. The initiative builds on and acknowledges many years of Australasian collaboration in the development of concepts, tools, standards and strategies for good recordkeeping. It will add value to existing initiatives, placing them in a coherent framework with national and international standards. The members of ADRI are the National Archives of Australia, Archives New Zealand, Public Record Office Victoria, State Records New South Wales, Queensland State Archives, State Records of South Australia, Archives Office of Tasmania, State Records Office of Western Australia, Territory Records Office Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory Archives Service. The ADRI vision is this: ‘All governments in Australia and New Zealand (supported by their archives and records authorities) implement a uniform approach to making, keeping and using digital records to ensure accountability and the long-term protection of vital cultural heritage. This uniformity leads to improved efficiency, economy and interoperability across participating jurisdictions.’ The initiative’s strategic plan, which is currently being finalised, will articulate how ADRI will fulfil this intention. The full text of Dr Shergold’s speech is available at www.pmc.gov.au/docs/ shergold260504.cfm. Team digital on track In the Spring–Summer 2004 edition of Memento we announced the formation of the Australasian Digital Recordkeeping Initiative (ADRI), a collaborative venture between government archives in Australia and New Zealand to develop a uniform approach to digital recordkeeping. ADRI is developing a website which members will use as a collaborative work tool and as a way of reporting on work progress. Products of the initiative will also be available to the public via the website. 8 memeNto News from the National Archives