About us

About Us


ArchivesACT was established on the 1st of July 2008 as the public access to ACT Government records section of the Territory Records Office.

Source of the archives

The Territory Records Act 2002 established the record keeping and archival regime for the ACT Government. ACT Government agencies have ownership and custody of the records for the life of the record including those considered worthy of retaining permanently as evidence of policy and activity. Public records are created by government agencies, Territory Owned Corporations and authorities; the courts and tribunals; government schools, secondary colleges and tertiary institutions; public hospitals and health centres; and other public offices. They have value for historical, genealogical, social or other research and document the status, rights and entitlements of the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Availability of government records

Only a fraction of the records created by government have been deemed of continuing value to the people of the Australian Capital Territory and have been retained as Territory archives. The records that have been kept have been appraised against the approved Records Disposal Schedule for the relevant function and activity of government. The approved Records Disposal Schedules are notifiable instruments and are publicly available on the ACT Legislation Register: http://www.legislation.act.gov.au

Access to records

Records are not stored onsite and must be retrieved from the custody agency.  Requesting records is done online wherever you use the internet: Click here to request a record

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ArchivesACT Reading Room

Archives of the ACT Government are ordered and arrangements made for their use before visiting the Reading Room. Archives will be made available in the Reading Room located next to the ACT Heritage Library once they have been retrieved from the agency with ownership and custody.

Reference service

The ACT Government Reference Archivist does not undertake research on your behalf. However, as many of the records management tools are not public the Reference Archivist will indentify and suggest possible files that may fit your research profile or request. As the ACT was granted self-government in 1989, many useful files are still in the National Archives of Australia a preliminary check of RecordSearch http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/recordsearch.aspx will assist in refining your request by locating agencies that made the files or series information.

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Digital cameras

The preferred method of copying paper records is through personal digital cameras. Provided that certain conditions are met, researchers can make photographic copies of records they have ordered using their own digital camera. These conditions include only photographing records that are under crown copyright. Forms relating to reproduction of ACT Government archives can be found here: ArchivesACT permissions forms

Opening hours

Use of the records is by appointment only during the hours 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday to Friday. Contact details can be found here.


To protect the records, pencil not pen or biro are to be used in the Reading Room. Gloves may be supplied in some cases. Large satchels or bags are not to be brought into the Reading Room.

PDF and Word versions of this page can be downloaded here: (PDF IconPDF 115Kb) (Word Icon RTF 131Kb)

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File Readers/Viewers

If you do not already have compatible software on your computer, free file readers/viewers can be downloaded from the following links.