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The museum is fortunate in having extensive and wide ranging archival materials within its collections, based not only on research and collection by museum staff but also derived from the work of other individuals, groups and organisations. The holdings are of national and international significance and are an integral part of the museum's collections.

Recognising from the beginning of the museum's activities that much of our way of life and history is undocumented in conventional ways, a range of collecting methods and materials has been embraced to establish records.