Series 53 - Correspondence files, multiple number series

Identity area

Reference code



Correspondence files, multiple number series


  • 1950 - 2000 (Creation)
  • 1930 - 2000 (Accumulation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

300 m (1539 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator

(1947 - 1998)

Biographical history

From 1947, the Registrar, reporting to the Vice-Chancellor, was responsible for the administrative work of the University with duties specified in the University statutes such as conducting Council elections, acting as Secretary of the Council, the Board of Graduate Studies and each Faculty and Faculty Board, and affixing the common seal of the University to official documents and degrees, but also for correspondence with public bodies, legislation, personnel matters (except academic appointments) and official publications. The Registrar initially directed the work of all administrative areas but as the University administration grew, new structures were developed. The Bursar was responsible for budgets, accounting services, business management and for residential housing. The Academic Registrar was the secretary of the Boards of the Institute of Advanced Studies and of the School of General Studies, responsible for administrative matters related to academic staff appointments and student matters. The Registrar (Property and Plans) was responsible for the coordination of planning, including the relating of academic plans to the provision of buildings and site development. Functions which had been managed by the Office of the Registrar were devolved to other areas such as University Information (later, Public Affairs Division) and Human Resources so that by 1998 the Office of the Registrar was no longer identified as an administrative unit. From 2006, the position of Registrar has headed the Division of Registrar and Student Services.

Name of creator

Biographical history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This was the main ANU correspondence file series from 1950 to 2000, usually known as ‘Central Files’. It contains some earlier material top-numbered from the first ANU file series (ANUA 18) as well as many files of the Canberra University College (ANUA 42) from 1930 to 1960. These files were incorporated in the series by the former Registrar of the Canberra University College Thomas Owen. The files were originally controlled by a card index and file register – the information contained in these was transferred to a computerised keyword index in 1975 and in 2006 to the current Central Records System. The multiple numbers consist of a primary subject often representing a Research School, Faculty or other organisational unit, a secondary number representing a function and then the next sequential number allocated to a particular file. The primary numbers (not all have extant files) are:
1. Vice-Chancellor’s correspondence
2. Legislation and policy
3. Council and Committees
4. Administrative matters (including staff organisation)
5. Scholars and scholarships
6. Research School of Pacific (and Asian) Studies
7. John Curtin School of Medical Research
8. Research School of Physical Sciences
9. Research School of Social Sciences
10. Visitors, visits, conferences and seminars
11. Library
12. Buildings
13. Research School of Chemistry
14. Other organisations (including Canberra University College 14.1.0)
15. Staff activities
16. University House
17. Research students
18. Ceremonies and historic occasions
19. Joint ventures (Institute and School)
20. School of General Studies (see also 30–44)
21. Research School of Biological Sciences
22. Research School of Earth Sciences
23. Management Services Group
24. Research School of Mechanical Sciences (proposed)
25. Health research
26. Centre for Resource and Environment Studies
27. Humanities Research Centre
28. Office for Research in Academic Methods
29. Social Psychiatry Research Unit
30. School of General Studies – scholarships
31. School of General Studies – Faculty of Arts
32. School of General Studies – proposed faculties
33. School of General Studies – Faculty of Economics
34. School of General Studies – Faculty of Asian Studies
35. School of General Studies – Faculty of Law
36. School of General Studies – student matters
37. School of General Studies – business matters
38. School of General Studies – halls of residence
39. School of General Studies – committees and boards
40. School of General Studies – research grants
41. School of General Studies – curriculum
42. School of General Studies – staffing
43. School of General Studies – general
44. School of General Studies – Faculty of Science
45. Freedom of Information
46. – 49. Not used
50. Triennial planning
51. Policy studies
55. Research School of Information Sciences and Engineering
56. Institute of the Arts
101. Faculty of Medicine (proposed)
Many personnel files were raised in this series either under the general ‘4.2 Staff appointments’ or under the secondary ‘staff’ function of particular organisational units. These files are controlled in a separate series of staff files (ANUA 19) from several different series. This series was superseded by an annual single number series in 2000 (ANUA 239).


System of arrangement

Multiple number

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access under a thirty-year rule

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Item list, online keyword searching available in Central Records System through Archives staff, separate list of departmental annual reports from 1952 onwards

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

National Archives of Australia: CRS A8144, items 3.5.0 - 3.19.79 (with gaps)

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Dates of creation revision deletion

Prepared by Maggie Shapley on 10 July 2007




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places