After Federation in 1901, one of the first questions considered by the new Commonwealth Government, and the most contentious, was the site for the Federal Capital. The announcement of an international design competition for Canberra in 1911 attracted worldwide interest. Entries were received from the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden, Italy, France, as well as from South Africa, Rhodesia, Mexico and Paraguay.
The National Archives holds many maps, plans, files and reports relating to the design and development of Canberra. They range from the competition plans through to the construction of infrastructure, the first Commonwealth buildings, the slow but steady expansion of the capital during the postwar years, and the building of the new Parliament House.
* Requests for access to records from A7686 & AA1984/414 are to be referred to the Clerk of the Senate. Please consult a reference officer for more details.
|Title or description of record||Date range||Series number|
|Mildenhall collection of glass plate negatives of early Canberra||1921–35||A3560|
For more information
For a comprehensive design history of the national capital, see Canberra following Griffin: A Design History of Australia’s National Capital (National Archives, 2002). In this heavily illustrated book, noted Griffin scholar and architect Paul Reid explores in-depth the fate of the Griffin design over the 20th century. It contains reproductions of many maps, plans and drawings from the National Archives’ collection.