National Office – Canberra

Old Parliament House
18 King George Terrace

Tel: (02) 6212 3600
PO Box 4924, KINGSTON ACT 2604

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Opening hours

Reading room

9am to 5pm weekdays, closed public holidays.

Records are delivered to the reading room once each weekday. We will aim to make records that are requested before 12pm (midday) each day available to view the next business day. Requests for records submitted after 12pm (midday) will be available in two business days (48 hours).

While most records will be available for viewing within two business days, in cases where records have special preservation needs or in times of peak demand, there may be delays.

Exhibition galleries

Charters of our Nation is a display of facsimiles of the Constitution and other founding documents.

9am to 5pm daily (except Christmas Day)


All Archives visitors are required to pay the Museum of Australian Democracy entry fee of $2 for adults and $1 for concession and children over 5 years old. This supports the conservation work of the Museum to maintain the heritage-listed Old Parliament House building, in which we are a tenant.

Visitors are also asked to cloak large backpacks, umbrellas, camera tripods, food and drink at Reception upon entry.

Wi-Fi access

Free Wi-Fi access is available to all visitors who bring a device capable of connecting to a wireless network (eg laptop computer, mobile telephone or personal digital assistant).

Getting there

Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2016 award

Car parking

Short stay paid parking (maximum 4 hours) is available at the front and sides of Old Parliament House, including motorcycle and disabled parking spaces.

Long stay paid parking is available at the East Block and West Block carparks, both located on Queen Victoria Terrace, to the east and west of Federation Mall. These carparks also include motorcycle and disabled parking spaces.

Ticket machines accept payment by credit card or coins.


Weekday bus routes: 1, 2, 3 and 6
Routes 1, 2 and 6 are mostly wheelchair accessible, and route 3 is completely wheelchair accessible.

Weekend and public holiday bus routes: 934, 938 and 981
Routes 934, 938 and 981 are completely wheelchair accessible.
Routes 1, 2, 3, 934, 938 and 981 stop on Parkes Place, and route 6 stops on King George Terrace.

Please check the Transport Canberra website for current maps and timetables, or phone 13 17 10.


Taxis pick up and drop off at the front of the building Quote 'Old Parliament House' as the location.

Canberra Cabs telephone bookings: 13 2227 / wheelchair access 6126 1596. Or sms: 0417 672 773 with your name, pickup place and time

Cabxpress telephone bookings: 6260 6011 / wheelchair access 6260 6077

Onsite accessibility

Wheelchair access

The Archives' reading room and exhibition space in Old Parliament House are wheelchair accessible. Accessible entry is available at ground level on either side of the main front steps. Please press the buzzer for assistance.

Toilet facilities

Accessible toilets can be found on the lower and main floors and in the courtyards of Old Parliament House.

Assistance animals

Visitors with recognised assistance animals, including guide and hearing dogs, are welcome.

The collection in Canberra

Because most Australian Government agencies have their central offices in Canberra, the collection is large, rich and diverse and includes many thousands of photographs.

It covers Cabinet, Federation, Prime Ministers and other leaders of the nation, and most of the activities with which the government has been involved. Several collections are particularly popular with researchers, such as ASIO and Royal Commission records.

The service records of Australians who have served in wars, notably World Wars I and II, are invaluable for family historians.

The migrant selection documents and naturalisation papers of millions of people who have come to live in this country are also of major interest for historians and genealogists. Recent work has made the records of displaced people – refugees displaced by World War II – more accessible as they can now be searched by name.

The copyright collection dates back to colonial times, a rich source of Australian creative endeavour and social history. Records on patents and trademarks also show an interesting aspect of Australian history.

Visiting Canberra

Canberra balloon spectacular
A view of the annual Canberra Balloon Spectacular from the National Arboretum.

When you take a trip to Australia’s capital, Canberra, prepare to experience one good thing after another. Soar above the city in a hot air balloon, try out world-class mountain biking tracks, see blockbuster art and explore the city’s famed museums and galleries. Meander through a million blooms during the annual spring festival, Floriade, sample cool-climate wine, check out the latest foodie hotspots or simply let the kids run wild. When it comes to Canberra, you never know what unexpected wonders are waiting around the corner. For more travel inspiration head to VisitCanberra

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2018