COVID-19 safety updates
Our Victoria research centre is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please check this page for updates on visiting the research centre.
About the Victorian Archives Centre
The Victorian Archives Centre is operated jointly by the National Archives and the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV).
Researchers can access both Commonwealth and state records from the one location.
For more information about the records collection of the Public Record Office Victoria visit their website at prov.vic.gov.au
The National Archives' collection in Melbourne
Our collection in Victoria has a huge variety of Australian Government records, including many surprising ones.
Melbourne was the seat of the Australian Government until 1927 and remained a centre for federal government activity until the 1960s. That means our collection in Victoria has many central administration records.
Notable subject areas include:
- army and navy correspondence
- Aboriginal affairs
- immigration correspondence and case records
- shipping and navigation
- Commonwealth works and construction
- postal and telegraph
- courts and tribunals.
While most records date from Federation in 1901 onwards, we also have some records dating as far back as the 1850s. These were inherited from the Victorian colonial government when some responsibilities passed to the Commonwealth at Federation.
Unique and unusual records in our collection
- Records of the British Phosphate Commission, with extensive materials about Nauru and Christmas Island.
- Records of the WW2 Allied Works Council, which carried out defence-related works around the country. We also have records of workers in the Civil Construction Corps who were conscripted to carry them out.
- Records of the Department of Munitions documenting the design and production of Australia’s wartime weapons.
- Records of the Bureau of Meteorology, Head Office, including weather observations dating back to the 1860s.
- Records of the Fair Work Commission and its predecessors, which date from the beginning of Australia’s industrial relations system in the early 1900s.
- An extensive photographic collection created by the Trade Publicity Directorate, which provides numerous insights into post-war Australian life.
The research centre is closed on public holidays.
Please allow up to 48 hours for retrieval of records. You can send an advance request to view records.
Free wireless internet is available. There is an exhibition space on site.
Entry to the National Archives is free.
All public areas are wheelchair accessible.
A toilet with disabled facilities is on the ground floor.
Visitors with recognised assistance animals, including guide and hearing dogs, are welcome.
Free all day car parking is available on site (enter via 112 Macaulay Road).
Route 57 (stop 16), Route 55 (stop 19), Route 59 (stop 19)
North Melbourne Station or Macaulay Station
Route 402 (every 10 minutes)
Visitors can call a taxi using the free public phone in the locker area.
PO Box 8005