Cabinet notebooks

Since 1950, senior public servants have attended meetings of the Cabinet to take notes.

Their notes, which are recorded in Cabinet notebooks, are used to draft formal Cabinet decisions after the meeting.

Cabinet notebooks do not include a complete record of discussions, but may provide a more detailed picture of the Cabinet's deliberation on an issue.

A similar system of notetaking was used at meetings of the War Cabinet from 1941 to 1946.

Cabinet notebooks held by the National Archives

Cabinet notebooks become publicly available 30 years after the year in which they were created. This is longer than Cabinet records, which become available after 20 years.

Cabinet notebooks are found in series A11099.

Some records in this series have been declassified and digitised. They can be viewed online via our RecordSearch database.

If the notebook you are interested in has not been digitised, you can order a digital copy or view the record in our Canberra research centre. If we haven't examined the record yet, you will also need to submit an access application.

Explore Cabinet notebooks on RecordSearch

War Cabinet notebooks

The National Archives also holds notebooks from the War Cabinet and Advisory War Council, which operated during World War II.

  • War Cabinet and Advisory War Council notebooks, 1941 to 1946: A9240
  • War Cabinet notes – Volume 1, 1940 to 1941: A5954, 729/1
  • War Cabinet notes – Volume 2, 1940 to 1941: A5954, 729/2
  • War Cabinet notes – Volume 3, 1941: A5954, 730/1
  • War Cabinet notes – Volume 4, 1941: A5954, 730/2
  • War Cabinet notes – Volume 5, 1941 to 1942: A5954, 731/1
  • War Cabinet notes – Volume 6, 1941 to 1942: A5954, 731/2
  • War Cabinet notes – Volume 7, 1943: A5954, 732/1
  • War Cabinet notes – Volume 8, 1944 to 1945: A5954, 733/1
  • War Cabinet notes – Volume 9, 1945 to 1946: A5954, 733/2
  • War Cabinet meetings – notes, 27 September 1939 to 25 January 1940: A5954, 734/1
  • Advisory War Council notes – Volume 1, 29 October 1940 to 5 February 1941: A5954, 212/1
  • Advisory War Council notes – Volume 2, 5 February 1941 to 6 June 1941: A5954, 212/2

You can view digital copies of all War Cabinet notebooks in RecordSearch.