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 Way of the Reformer: Gough Whitlam in His Century

    Pilot Officer Edward Gough Whitlam, 4 March 1943. (Whitlam Institute, Whitlam Prime Ministerial Collection item 16008)

    Gough Whitlam shaped the Australian nation, before that, the Australian nation shaped him.

    23 June 2017 to 3 September 2017

    National Archives of Australia
    Queen Victoria Terrace
    Parkes ACT 2600

  • Facing Two Fronts: the fight for respect

    Side profile portrait
    Joe McGinness' service record ID photograph, 1942. (NAA: B883, DX977)

    Through the lens of military service and the stories of those who served, learn about Indigenous soldiers' fight for social justice. A digital exhibition at the Archives featuring extraordinary images and records from our collection and a series of stirring video portraits.

    24 March 2017 to 31 December 2017

    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.

    10 May 2017 to 1 October 2017

    Qantas Founders Museum
    Sir Hudson Fysh Drive
    Longreach QLD 4730

    Tour schedule

    Opens:
    16 December 2016
    Closes:
    28 January 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.

    16 September 2017 to 4 February 2018

    Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory
    19 Conacher Street, The Gardens,
    Darwin NT 0801

    Tour schedule

    Opens:
    6 March 2017
    Closes:
    5 June 2017
    Location:
    Newcastle Museum
    6 Workshop Way
    Newcastle NSW 2300
    Opens:
    16 September 2017
    Closes:
    4 February 2018
    Location:
    Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory
    19 Conacher Street, The Gardens,
    Darwin NT 0801
    Opens:
    9 March 2018
    Closes:
    13 May 2018
    Location:
    Museum of Tropical Queensland
    70-102 Flinders St
    Townsville City QLD 4810
    Opens:
    1 June 2018
    Closes:
    14 August 2018
    Location:
    Western Australian Maritime Museum
    Victoria Quay
    Fremantle WA 6160
    Opens:
    1 September 2018
    Closes:
    13 November 2018
    Location:
    Western Australian Museum – Geraldton
    2 Museum Place, Batavia Coast Marina
    Geraldton WA 6530
    Opens:
    1 December 2018
    Closes:
    25 February 2019
    Location:
    Western Australian Museum – Albany
    Residency Road
    Albany WA 6330
    Opens:
    1 March 2019
    Closes:
    20 May 2019
    Location:
    Western Australian Museum – Kalgoorlie-Boulder
    17 Hannan Street
    Kalgoorlie WA 6430
  • Without Consent: Australia's past adoption practices

    A crèche at a large maternity hospital, 1954
    A crèche at a large maternity hospital, 1954
    (NAA: A1200, L15678)

    Moving experiences of heartbreak and resilience, shared by people affected by Australia's past adoption practices.

    Visit the Forced Adoptions website to learn more about the effects on mothers, fathers, adopted persons, and others within the family. The website was created by the National Archives of Australia to increase awareness and understanding of forced adoptions. It provides access to research, records and resources, and an opportunity for those affected to contribute their own experiences of forced adoption.

    7 July 2017 to 22 September 2017

    Margaret Whitlam Galleries
    The Whitlam Institute within the University of Western Sydney
    Corner James Ruse Drive and Victoria Road
    Rydalmere NSW 2116

    Tour schedule

    Opens:
    10 March 2017
    Closes:
    24 June 2017
    Location:
    Museum of the Riverina
    Corner Baylis and Morrow Streets
    Wagga Wagga NSW 2650
    Opens:
    7 July 2017
    Closes:
    22 September 2017
    Location:
    Margaret Whitlam Galleries
    The Whitlam Institute within the University of Western Sydney
    Corner James Ruse Drive and Victoria Road
    Rydalmere NSW 2116
    Opens:
    14 December 2017
    Closes:
    21 January 2018
    Location:
    Grafton Regional Gallery
    158 Fitzroy Street
    Grafton NSW 2460
    Opens:
    10 February 2018
    Closes:
    8 April 2018
    Location:
    Albury Library Museum
    Corner Kiewa and Swift Streets
    Albury NSW 2640
    Opens:
    20 April 2018
    Closes:
    29 July 2018
    Location:
    Qantas Founders Museum
    Sir Hudson Fysh Drive
    Longreach QLD 4730
  • 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

Now open every Friday from 12pm–2pm

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.

Sneak Peeks in the Federation Gallery
Every Friday | 12pm–2pm
Saturday 23 – Monday 25 September, 9am–5pm
Saturday 30 September – Monday 2 October, 9am–5pm

National Archives of Australia
Queen Victoria Terrace
Parkes ACT 2600

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017