From physical to virtual – the CPA Australia archives story

As one of the oldest professional accounting associations in the world, CPA Australia has an extensive archival collection, the Jill Bright Archives, that provide invaluable insights into the development of the profession and the business community it services. In order to preserve and manage this collection, CPA Australia in association with the University of Melbourne and the National Archives of Australia has secured an Australian Research Council Linkage Project grant, developing a framework for managing the archive and facilitating access through the use of digital technologies.

The archives represent the corporate memory of CPA Australia and its previous bodies. These archives are a unique collection of records extending back to almost 130 years, to the handwritten minutes of the first meeting held in 1886. Other material in the collection includes:

  • pictures of members and events
  • marketing collateral
  • the history of the brand
  • the evolution of the CPA Program

Some of the material shows signs of deterioration, with the damage attributable to a number of factors, including handling, storage and the age of the items. The collection is stored on-site at CPA Australia’s Melbourne office and is only accessible by appointment. Achievements so far include:

  • completion of detailed inventories (including the assignment of a unique identifier for each individual item)
  • development of the decision (weighting) matrix to determine the priority list for digitisation

The project has also established a process for transferring materials between sites and allowing external parties to securely upload files into CPA Australia’s internal systems. The process ensures files are correctly tagged, classified and managed in the repositories.

Digitising our history

Creating digital archives