Bit of a geek who likes discovering new places in and around Sydney. Follow me on Instagram @richrammo or Twitter @richramo
Published June 11th 2012
While there are many federal building in Canberra that are popular tourist attractions that are open to the public, the National Archives of Australia may not receive as much publicity and might not be in your top five places to visit, but having recently visited, I recommend stopping by popping in for a visit. Throughout the year, the Archives showcase a number of interesting exhibitions that provide an insight in the nation's history. The exhibitions provides an eye opening look into the amount of records and information that has been collected and an idea of what is likely to be collected in the future.
Located in the suburb of Parkes in our nation's capital, the National Archives of Australia is great place to visit if you have an interest in uncovering interesting facts, especially political historical information that has been released to the public. Alternatively if are like myself who has been working on their family tree. The Archives is definitely the place to visit if you are researching your own family history and would like to digger a deeper for important records to help put pieces of the family history puzzle together.
Staff working for the The National Archives of Australia are in the process of working on huge project to convert millions of records into digital copies so that the information is preserved for years to come as well as to minimise damage to original documents. Having a digital copy of documents allows original documents to be stored away and possibly never be touched again as many of the documents are decades old and are quite fragile. Another benefit of paper documents been converted to digital format means a large amount of documents are becoming more freely available in databases on the National Archives of Australia web site.
While exhibitions at the Archives are featured at different times during the year, one of the other major highlights is the Reading Room, here you can order online or in person documents that are interested in (as long as they are available) and then have the opportunity to read the documents in the special reading room. Obviously, there may be some time between when you order the documents and when you can actually read them in the reading room, but the friendly staff will give you a hand and provide time frames about when the documents will be available for reading. When in the room you also have the opportunity to take notes if you wish. This is fantastic if you are a historian or if you are interested in finding about your family history. There are all kinds of records, everything ranging from military records, passenger records, and birth and death indexes to nationalization and immigration records.
At the National Archives of Australia all you really need is some time and an idea of what you are looking for and you are well on your way to uncovering information that will help answer many of those unanswered questions that you may have been searching for, for years.