Register as a researcher

You must register as a researcher if you intend on visiting any of our research centres to view original records. To do so:

  1. Access the National Archives of Australia website (
  2. Go to Help with your research and then to RecordSearch.
  3. In the top right of the screen select 'Login'.
  4. Under 'New to RecordSearch' select 'Register'.
  5. Fill in all relevant fields. Use the tab key or the mouse to move between fields. Please note that information must be entered in fields marked with an asterisk *.
  6. Select 'Register'.
  7. The screen will display your login name and researcher's ticket number. Make sure you record these details somewhere safe; alternatively you can print the page.
  8. Select 'Next'.
  9. You will now need to set a secret password that only you know. This is so that your contact details and the search sets you create when you use our system remain private.
  10. Enter a new password in the first box. This password must be at least 9 characters long and contain at least 1 number, for example 'Wednesday1'. Please ensure that there are no spaces before or after the password.
  11. Use the tab key or the mouse to move between fields.
  12. Re-enter your new password.
  13. Select 'Save password'.
  14. You are now logged in to RecordSearch. You can use the basic or advanced tabs to begin your search.

Obtaining a researcher card

When you visit a research centre for the first time, you will need to bring identification with you so we can verify your identity and provide you with a researcher card.

Acceptable forms of identification include either:

  • one form of identification that shows your photo, full name, current address and signature - such as a driver's licence.
  • OR

  • two forms of identification: one must show your full name and current address and one must show your signature – such as a passport, proof of age card, Medicare card, pension/seniors card, credit card, bank account statement, utility or telephone account.

For researchers visiting from overseas a valid passport will be considered an acceptable form of identification.

Please note: we do not make copies of, or record the details of, the identification documentation you show us.

Once your identity has been verified, a researcher card will be issued to you and you will be asked to sign the card. You will be required to present your researcher card when visiting a research centre and each time original records are issued to you.

A researcher card is valid for three years from the date of issue, and can be used in any National Archives research centre.

Why you must provide proof of identity

We ask to see proof of identity before issuing a researcher card so we can track the issue of records to researchers in our research centres, and to ensure we have your current contact details.