National Archives signs contracts worth $4.4m to digitise Second World War service records

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

The National Archives of Australia has signed contracts totalling $4.4 million for the bulk digitisation of more than 650,000 Second World War service records.

Digitisation services suppliers Fuji Xerox BusinessForce Pty Ltd and W&F Pascoe Pty Ltd will digitise the two largest Second World War series held by the National Archives – B883 (Personnel services records for the Second Australian Imperial Force 1939-47) and B884 (Personnel service records for Citizen Military Forces 1937-47) - by mid-2023.

Work has commenced on series B884 and records digitised under the contracts will be made progressively available free of charge to the public via the National Archives website from December 2020. More than 220,000 Second World War service records are already digitised.

National Archives’ Director-General David Fricker said the contracts marked a milestone in the four-year, $10 million project to digitise the majority of Second World War records.  

“The World War II service records are among the most popular in our vast collection and this project will ensure Australians can access almost one million of these records digitally by 2023,” Mr Fricker said.

“We are employing a mix of supplier and in-house digitisation on this project and these contracts will deliver the bulk of outsourced digitisation work.

“We’re proud to be working with our commercial partners on a project of national significance that will safeguard our Second World War documentary heritage into the future.”

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester today visited the Second World War Project Digitisation Centre at the National Archives Preservation Facility to see the important work being carried out by National Archives’ staff.

“The Australian Government committed $10 million to this vital project that will enable current and future generations to learn about their family’s military history and the role our nation played in the largest global conflict of the 20th century,” Mr Chester said. 

“This builds on the already digitised records of those who served in the First World War and will ensure families, historians, academics and students will have free and ready access to these historical records.

“As we approach Remembrance Day, there is no better time to reflect on the service and sacrifice of the around one million Australians who served at home and abroad during Second World War.”

Available for interview

  • David Fricker, Director-General, National Archives of Australia.
  • Darren Chester, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel

Contact information

National Archives of Australia Media Team

Phone: 0417 247 157


Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media Team

Phone: 02 6289 6466