“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.”

The National Archives of Australia has some online family history resources and research guides.

Research Guides include Chinese Immigrant research, Papua New Guinea Records, Aboriginal Records, and many more.

Online RecordSearch – search military, immigration, naturalization and other records by surname-many records are digitized and online!

“RecordSearch is the National Archives of Australia’s collection database. It provides online access to:

  • descriptions of 60,000 collections (called series)

  • details of 9,000 creators and depositors (agencies, persons and organisations)

  • descriptions of around 8 million record items (eg files, maps, posters), and

  • digital copies of 1.2 million records.”

Online RecordSearch collections include:

  • Australian Defence Forces personnel records

    • Army personnel records

      • Boer War

      • World War I

      • World War II

      • Pre WWI, Inter war, Post WWII

    • Air Force personnel records

    • Navy personnel records

  • Other Defence records

    • Service pay records

    • RAAF accident reports

    • Australian Prisoner of War records

    • Court Martial records

    • Repatriation cases (Boer War & WWI)

    • War gratuity records

    • Civilian service records

    • Army Inventions Directorate

    • Papua New Guinea evacuees records

  • Immigration and naturalization records

  • Other records

    • Security and intelligence records

    • Arts and science records

      • Australian Broadcasting Commission

      • Commonwealth Literary Fund

      • Copyright, patents, trademarks

    • High Court cases


Passenger Arrivals Lists 1897 to 1963 “Most ships coming to Australia had Fremantle, Western Australia, as their first port of call. During the period 1897 to 1963, over 3.6 million people were identified in 17,000 passenger arrivals lists.”

Passenger Arrivals Index, 1898-1972, list of ships/aircraft “The list includes the names of ships and aircraft flight or registration numbers covered by the passenger lists indexed to date. This will be added to progressively as further lists are indexed.”

Family history articles “topics include copyright, post office and maritime records, as well as records relating to migrant communities such as the Dutch and Japanese.”

Fact sheets on family history research “provide an overview of the topic with links to a selection of records in our collection database, RecordSearch.”

Destination Australia “website features more than 20,000 photographs of migrants who arrived in Australia from all over the world after World War II. You, or someone you know, could be among them. Share your migration story.”

Discovering Anzacs “Explore a growing selection of government records about Australians and New Zealanders in World War I and the Boer War. Enhance a profile dedicated to the wartime journey of someone who served. Uncover the personal stories of service men and women through original archival records.”

An A-Z index for all their collections (most are on-site collections).


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