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 2015

    Magnified: 12 years of the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize.

    Celebrate 12 years of The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize at the National Archives this summer.

    Enjoy incredible prize-winning artworks exhibited alongside inspiring historical content from the collections of the National Archives of Australia and the South Australian Museum.

    Free | open daily 9am to 5pm

    Check our website for future exhibition tours and events.

    A partnership exhibition developed and curated by the National Archives of Australia and South Australian Museum.

    27 November 2015 to 28 March 2016

    National Archives of Australia
    Queen Victoria Terrace
    Parkes ACT

  • National History Challenge

    Without consent: Australia's past adoption practices
    Victorian Archives Centre, main entrance

    Victorian student entries showcase 2015

    The Apollo 11 landing. The Sydney Olympics. Just two of the fascinating subjects to explore at the Victorian Archives Centre this summer as we showcase Victorian students entries for the 2015 National History Challenge.

    Themed Leadership and Legacy, entries run the gamut of world history. Visitors may also be interested in the original records related to the events or be inspired to enter their own project in 2016. We have a vast collection of historical records that can help.

    During your visit you could pop into the Reading Room to start researching your family history or have a coffee or a spot of lunch at Cafe 99.

    Monday to Friday 10am to 4.30pm (excluding public holidays) and on the 2nd and last Saturday of every month.

    11 January 2016 to 15 April 2016

    Victorian Archives Centre
    99 Shiel St.
    North Melbourne VIC

  • 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 an display of photographs capturing the construction of the national capital.

    More information about Discovering Mildenhall’s Canberra

    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.

    Family corner 18 December 2015 to 1 February 2016 

    Queen Victoria's underpants? A trip to Antarctica? What is an archive? Read stories from our past, do a puzzle or try the Discovery Trail. For children under 10. Fun for mum and dad too.

    On permanent display

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

    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.

    3 December 2015 to 26 February 2016

    Bunbury Museum & Heritage Centre
    1 Arthur Street
    Bunbury WA 6230

    Tour schedule

    Opens:
    14 February 2015
    Closes:
    30 April 2015
    Location:
    Fairfield City Museum and Gallery
    634 The Horsley Drive
    Smithfield NSW 2164
    Opens:
    8 May 2015
    Closes:
    24 July 2015
    Location:
    Margaret Whitlam Galleries
    The Whitlam Institute within the University of Western Sydney
    Cnr James Ruse Drive and Victoria Road
    Rydalmere NSW 2116
    Opens:
    4 September 2015
    Closes:
    19 November 2015
    Location:
    Lavington Library
    366 Griffith Rd
    Lavington NSW 2641
    Opens:
    3 December 2015
    Closes:
    27 February 2016
    Location:
    Bunbury Museum & Heritage Centre
    1 Arthur Street
    Bunbury WA 6230
    Opens:
    11 March 2016
    Closes:
    20 April 2016
    Location:
    Wanneroo Library and Cultural Centre
    3 Rocca Way
    Wanneroo WA 6065
    Opens:
    9 May 2016
    Closes:
    24 June 2016
    Location:
    Public Record Office Victoria
    99 Shiel St
    North Melbourne VIC 3051
    Opens:
    1 July 2016
    Closes:
    2 October 2016
    Location:
    The Museum of the Riverina
    Located Cnr Baylis and Morrow Streets
    Wagga Wagga NSW 2650
    Opens:
    13 October 2016
    Closes:
    30 November 2016
    Location:
    Liverpool City Library
    170 George Street
    Liverpool NSW 2170
    Opens:
    8 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

Federation Gallery

Special viewing dates

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.

Special viewing:

February

Friday 12, Saturday 13, Sunday 14

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2016