Welcome to the National Archives
Who we are
The National Archives of Australia can best be described as the memory of our nation – collecting and preserving Australian Government records that reflect our history and identity.
Our collection traces events and decisions that have shaped the nation and the lives of Australians. Visitors are welcome to explore our collection, online or in person, to learn more.
As well as preserving our history, the National Archives plays a key role in helping to ensure the Australian Government and its departments are effective and accountable to the people.
What we do
Under the Archives Act 1983, the National Archives has two main roles:
- to preserve Australia’s most valuable government records and encourage their use by the public; and
- to promote good records management by Australian Government agencies.
In fulfilling these responsibilities, we ensure that Australians have access to a national archival collection so they may better understand their heritage and democracy.
Through individuals’ interaction with various government departments, aspects of their lives are preserved for future generations. Family historians find a wealth of information in our records, as do academics and other researchers.
We encourage good records management by government agencies to support:
- Australia's cultural heritage
- the rights and entitlements of citizens
- informed decision-making
- government accountability.