Australian Capital Territory Archives and Libraries
The Australian Capital Territory is home to a number of libraries and archival collections. As the site of the national capital, it hosts collections of national significance including specialist collections. The two universities have research and teaching libraries and institutional and specialist archives. The Parliament and public service have collections although these may have restricted access. The ACT Public Library and other community libraries have holdings of interest to family and local historians.
National Public Collections
National Archives of Australia
The National Office of the National Archives of Australia (NAA) is located in Parkes, ACT. The NAA is the official repository for the Commonwealth Government including the personal papers of Commonwealth officeholders and senior employees. It holds significant records of interest to family historians including military, immigration and naturalisation files. It also offers advice about conserving your personal archives.
|Street address||Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes, ACT|
|Postal address||PO Box 7425, Canberra Mail Centre, ACT 2610|
|Phone||+61 (0)2 6212 3600|
|Fax||+61 (0)2 6212 3699|
|A closed period of 30 years applies to most records. Some are redacted or withheld on national security grounds.||Not required to search/browse collection online, but issued to all researchers who wish to request material.|
National Library of Australia
The National Library of Australia (NLA) claims to hold "the greatest collection in the world of material relating to Australia and the Australian people. It ranges from the earliest European works about the Great Southern Land to the most current publications. The collection includes all formats of material, from books and magazines to pictures, photographs, maps, sheet music, oral history recordings, manuscript papers, ephemera and much, much more".
|Street address||Parkes Place, Canberra, ACT|
|Postal address||Parkes Place, Canberra 2600|
|Phone||+ 61 (0)2 6262 1111|
|Fax||+61 (0)2 6257 1703|
|Online enquiry form|
- NLA family history services (includes short video).
- NLA Catalogue
- NLA Trove online search and access to books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more.
- Electronic resources available either only in the library, or from home with a library card, or from anywhere via the internet.
|Generally open and immediate access but some material should be ordered ahead of a visit and some manuscripts have restricted access.||A library card is not required for all materials but Australian residents may apply for a library card which widens access.|
National Specialist Collections
Australian Dictionary of Biography
The National Centre of Biography conducts biographical research on prominent and representative Australians. It has a computer database containing references relating to over 20,000 individuals, a biographical card index consisting of an estimated 300,000 entries and obituaries of those who died in the period 1981 to the present. It publishes the Australian Dictionary of Biography.
|Street address||Coombs Building, Fellows Road, Acton ACT|
|Postal address||Australian Dictionary of Biography, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200|
|Phone||+61 (02) 6249 2676|
|Fax||+61 (02) 6257 1893|
|Advisable to contact ahead of a visit.||Researchers must sign the copyright and access agreement.|
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) describes itself as "the world’s premier institution for information and research about the cultures and lifestyles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, past and present." It claims to hold "the world’s largest collections of printed and other resource materials for Indigenous Studies" including films, photographs, video and audio recordings.
|Street address||Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula, ACT|
|Postal address||GPO Box 553, Canberra 2601|
|Phone||+61 (02) 6246 1111|
|Fax||+61 (02) 6261 4285|
|Advance notice of visits required to access special collections.|
Housed within the Australian Academy of Science the Basser Library specialises in the history of science in Australia. Its manuscript collection concentrates on the personal papers of prominent Australian scientists and records of scientific societies.
|Street address||Gordon Street, Acton, ACT|
|Postal address||GPO Box 783, Canberra 2601|
|Phone||+61 (02) 6247 9024|
|Fax||+61 (02) 6257 4620|
|Advisable to contact ahead of a visit. Open to all bona fide researchers.||-|