National Archives of Australia
Welcome to the National Archives
Who we are
The National Archives of Australia can best be described as the memory of our nation – collecting and preserving Australian Government records that reflect our history and identity.
Our collection traces events and decisions that have shaped the nation and the lives of Australians. Visitors are welcome to explore our collection, online or in person, to learn more.
As well as preserving our history, the National Archives plays a key role in helping to ensure the Australian Government and its departments are effective and accountable to the people
What we do
Under the Archives Act 1983, the National Archives has two main roles:
- to preserve Australia’s most valuable government records and encourage their use by the public; and
- to promote good records management by Australian Government agencies.
In fulfilling these responsibilities, we ensure that Australians have access to a national archival collection so they may better understand their heritage and democracy.
Through individuals’ interaction with various government departments, aspects of their lives are preserved for future generations. Family historians find a wealth of information in our records, as do academics and other researchers.
We encourage good records management by government agencies to support:
- Australia's cultural heritage
- the rights and entitlements of citizens
- informed decision-making
The Archives also participates in collaborative research with universities and other cultural institutions through the Australian Research Council grants scheme. For example, the National Archives is one of the partner organisations with the Departments of Veterans' Affairs and Defence and the Australian War Memorial in the Australian National University's four-year project titled 'Serving Our Country: a history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the defence of Australia' which commenced in June 2013.
Supporting archival research
One of the National Archives' key roles is to promote archival research in Australia and to encourage scholarly use of our collection. The Archives' grant program is currently under review.
In past years the Archives has awarded three research grants:
- Ian Maclean Award for archivists and other professionals who are interested in archival issues
- Frederick Watson Fellowship for established scholars
- Margaret George Award for talented, emerging scholars
The National Archives and the Australian Historical Association provide postgraduate scholarships for the digitisation of records.
Ask us a question about records in the collection
Copyright permissions for collection items
National Archives of Australia, National Office, Canberra
Tel: + 61 2 6212 3600
Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600, AUSTRALIA
PO Box 7425, Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610, AUSTRALIA