Welcome to the National Archives

Business as usual reference and digitisation services have resumed for WA. There may be a slight delay in responding to your request as we work through the backlog of applications received while access to the collection was closed. Thank you for your patience and support.

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
  • government accountability.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019