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AEON is a tool to assist you access records in the State archives collection. AEON provides information about:

1. what records are in the State archives collection; and
2. the contexts in which these records were created.

AEON is based on the series registration system which was first developed in Australia and is now widely regarded as a metadata standard.

AEON currently provides two search strategies – Simple Search and Advanced Search. See Search tips for further information about using either of these strategies.

Entities in AEON

AEON uses sets of entities which are linked to each other in a hierarchical fashion to provide information about the archival records and their contexts. Click on an entity to find out more about it:


An agency is a broad term to describe any Colonial, State or Local government organization in Western Australia, past and present.

All agencies that have transferred archival records to the State Records Office will be searchable using AEON.

AEON also documents the administrative relationships between one government agency and another. These relationships may be either:

  • Controlling – when an agency provides administrative control over a subordinate agency;
  • Controlled – when an agency is administratively controlled by a parent agency;
  • Preceding – when an agency preceded another agency with the same functions; and
  • Succeeding – when an agency has taken over the functions of another agency.

Through these administrative relationships, it is possible to trace the structure of government at different points in the State’s history, as well as follow how a government function may have passed from agency to another over time.

Record Series

A record series is a collective name for a group of records that have the same origin. A record series will:

  • be part of a discernible filing system;
  • have been kept together because they result from the same activity; and
  • are of a similar format and relate to a particular function.

A record series may be accumulated by an agency, and succeeding agencies, over time. Record series vary in size from a single record item to millions of record items.

Record series may be linked to each other through the following administrative relationships:

  • Preceding – when a record series was used prior to another records series, but which document the same activity;
  • Succeeding – when a record series replaces another records series, but which document the same activity; and
  • Related – when a record series relates to another record series (such as a set of index cards which relate to a group of files to which they index).

Record Items

A record item is an individual unit within a record series and is the smallest entity within AEON. Record items describe the archival records themselves and may be in any format such as files, cards, volumes, plans, photographs, etc.


A function is a major area of responsibility, authority or jurisdiction assigned to or assumed by an agency. Functions derive from mandates usually given in legislation. Functions constitute the principal business for any agency.


An activity is a part of a function. Activities are used in AEON to provide a more specific functional context for a record series than can be provided by a function.


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© State Records Office of Western Australia
Last Updated 23 August 2004

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