Exhibitions

View exhibitions and displays currently showing at the National Archives in Canberra and venues around Australia. Find out more about our past exhibitions.

  • The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize™ 2016

    Dan Power, G[RAZED], pen and ink on bull skull (detail)
    Dan Power, G[RAZED], pen and ink on bull skull (detail)

    Don’t miss the 2016 Waterhouse finalists’ artworks. Twenty-five stunning pieces, by both renowned and emerging artists, explore our natural history. Now a biennial event, Waterhouse features a wider range of art forms than ever before.

    A travelling exhibition developed by the South Australian Museum.

    16 September 2016 to 13 November 2016

    National Archives of Australia
    Queen Victoria Terrace
    Parkes ACT 2600

  • A Place to Call Home? Migrant hostel memories

    Scheyville Migrant Centre. (NAA: A12111, 2/1957/22A/37)

    Nissen huts, boiled mutton, bottled milk and helping hands.

    Rekindle memories with vivid photographs of life in Australia's migrant hostels.

    24 September 2016 to 8 December 2016

    Liverpool City Library
    170 George Street
    Liverpool NSW 2170

    Tour schedule

    Opens:
    9 May 2016
    Closes:
    16 September 2016
    Location:
    The Victorian Archives Centre
    99 Shiel St
    North Melbourne VIC 3051
    Opens:
    24 September 2016
    Closes:
    8 December 2016
    Location:
    Liverpool City Library
    170 George Street
    Liverpool NSW 2170
    Opens:
    16 December 2016
    Closes:
    1 February 2017
    Location:
    Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum
    Cnr of Goondoon and Bramston Streets
    Gladstone QLD 4680
    Opens:
    18 February 2017
    Closes:
    30 April 2017
    Location:
    Museum of Tropical Queensland
    70-102 Flinders Street
    Townsville QLD 4810
    Opens:
    10 May 2017
    Closes:
    1 October 2017
    Location:
    Qantas Founders Museum
    Sir Hudson Fysh Drive
    Longreach QLD 4730
    Opens:
    30 October 2017
    Closes:
    25 February 2018
    Location:
    Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery
    2 Invermay Road
    Launceston TAS 7250
    Opens:
    28 March 2018
    Closes:
    27 May 2018
    Location:
    Grafton Regional Gallery
    158 Fitzroy St
    Grafton NSW 2460
  • A Ticket to Paradise?

    Brian Jonmundsson and his wife Visitacion arrive in Sydney, 1963.
    Brian Jonmundsson and his wife Visitacion arrive in Sydney, 1963. (A12111, 1/1963/4/41)

    Delve into the rich diversity and experiences of post-World War II migrants, and look at promotional campaigns presenting a utopian view of Australia as a welcoming country full of opportunity.

    This exhibition tour is supported by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

    Exhibition development was supported by the Department of Communications and the Arts through Visions of Australia and the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program.

    26 March 2016 to 25 September 2016

    Migration Museum
    82 Kintore Avenue | Adelaide

    Tour schedule

    Opens:
    26 March 2016
    Closes:
    25 September 2016
    Location:
    Migration Museum
    82 Kintore Avenue
    Adelaide SA 5001
    Opens:
    31 October 2016
    Closes:
    6 December 2016
    Location:
    Albury LibraryMuseum
    Corner Kiewa and Swift Streets
    Albury NSW 2640
    Opens:
    6 March 2017
    Closes:
    5 June 2017
    Location:
    Newcastle Museum
    6 Workshop Way
    Newcastle NSW 2300
  • Banned

    Banned Logo

    The National Archives in Canberra has updated its café with a new display on banned books. Read about the secret history of Australian censorship as you sip your coffee.

    More information about Banned

    On permanent display

    Open daily from 9am to 5pm (except Christmas and Good Friday)

    National Archives of Australia
    Queen Victoria Terrace
    Parkes ACT 2600

  • Discovering Mildenhall’s Canberra

    read caption for description
    A game of bowls at Hotel Canberra, 1926.  
    (NAA: A3560, 2691)

    Discovering Mildenhall's Canberra is a display of photographs capturing the construction of the national capital.

    On permanent display

    Open daily from 9am to 5pm (except Christmas and Good Friday)

    National Archives of Australia
    Queen Victoria Terrace
    Parkes ACT 2600

  • Memory of a Nation

    Students from Launceston Church Grammar School explore Memory of a Nation at the National Archives in Canberra

    Summer is a great time to visit our Memory of a Nation exhibition, with new and curious collection items now on show. Enjoy our interactive touch screen – a unique way to explore the nation's story. Discover objects, photographs, records and stories that define Australia.

    On permanent display

    Open daily from 9am to 5pm (except Christmas and Good Friday)

    National Archives of Australia
    Queen Victoria Terrace
    Parkes ACT 2600

Royal Assent of Queen Victoria to Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act of 1900
Royal Assent of Queen Victoria to Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act of 1900 (NAA: A5137, 729265)

Federation Gallery

Our Federation Gallery contains some of Australia's most significant documents – those that record the founding of the Commonwealth of Australia. We like to refer to these as the 'birth certificates' of our nation.

The seven items in the gallery include the original Constitution Act passed by the British Parliament and the Royal Commission of Assent signed by Queen Victoria on 9 July 1900. They also include documents that record later changes to Australia's Constitution.

The National Archives is committed to ensuring the future survival of this material as well as encouraging and facilitating Australians' access to the documents.

New preservation research techniques measure the impact of light on documents. We balance the documents' future conservation needs with the public's right to access. We now open the gallery for special public viewing days, and for group and school bookings.

Family and Community Day long weekend
Saturday 24 – Monday 26 September | 9am–5pm
Labour Day long weekend
Saturday 1 – Monday 3 October | 9am–5pm
Boxing Day long weekend
Monday 26 – Tuesday 27 December | 9am–5pm
Copyright National Archives of Australia 2016