Our collection in Canberra is vast because most Australian Government agencies have central offices in Canberra.
It covers Cabinet, Federation, Prime Ministers and other national leaders, and most of the activities with which the government has been involved.
Many collections, such as ASIO and Royal Commission records, are popular with researchers.
Family historians find the service records of Australians who served in wars, notably World Wars I and II, invaluable.
Historians and genealogists value the migrant selection documents and naturalisation papers of millions of people who have come to live in this country. You can now search the records of refugees displaced by World War II by name.
Our copyright collection dates back to colonial times. It highlights Australia's creative and social history.
Patent and trademark records capture a unique view of Australian history.
Canberra research centre
You can view National Archives records in our research centres. These used to be called reading rooms.
The Canberra research centre at Old Parliament House is open from 9am to 5pm weekdays, and is closed public holidays.
For more information visit our research centres page.
Research centre returning to East Block on 25 November
From 25 November 2019, the Canberra research centre will return to the newly refurbished East Block building on Kings Avenue in Parkes.
Our reading room and orientation space at Old Parliament House will be closed on 22, 23 and 24 November.
The research centre will reopen at East Block at 9am on Monday 25 December.
Records requested after midday on Wednesday 20 November will be available for viewing at the research centre from Monday 25 November.
We look forward to welcoming you to our refreshed research centre.
We deliver records to the research centre once each weekday.
If you have ordered records before midday (12pm), we aim to have them ready to view the next business day.
Requests for records sent after midday will be available in 2 business days (48 hours).
While most records are available for viewing within 2 business days, in cases where records have special preservation needs or in times of peak demand, there could be delays.