The Reading Room Accessing Records at the Memorial

The section of the Memorial which holds written records of war is called the Research Centre. The collections maintained by the Research Centre document Australian involvement in war and warlike operations. Additionally, these documents can provide information on the historical background, and the effects on Australian society, of the conflicts in which Australia has been involved.

While you can use this website to access the Research Centre's digitised historic documents and records, this represents only a small proportion of the records we hold.

The Reading Room is a dedicated facility within the Memorial where we provide research assistance and access to the Research Centre's non-digitised archival material.

Visit the Reading Room

Visitors can access the Research Centre's collections and consult with staff for research advice in the Reading Room. The Reading Room is located on the lower ground floor of the Memorial.

Most of the Research Centre's collections are held in our archives and need to be retrieved for you to view. It typically takes 60 minutes for collection items held onsite to be retrieved. Retrieval requests submitted for onsite material after 4pm will be retrieved for the next business day. Some of the collection is held offsite and it may take a fortnight to be retrieved. If you have limited time available for your visit you can contact the Research Centre and arrange to have items retrieved before you arrive.

Please allow sufficient time to undertake your research, taking retrieval times into consideration. It is difficult to estimate how much time you need to allocate for your research. Generally one day would be adequate for basic research, such as reading through a unit war diary.

Please help us preserve the collections by following our guide to viewing archival material in the Reading Room.

Reading Room opening hours

The Reading Room is open:

  • Monday to Friday from 10am to 4.30pm
  • Saturdays from 1pm to 4.30pm.

The Reading room is closed:

  • Sundays
  • ACT public holidays including:
    - Monday 27 May 2019 - Reconciliation Day
    - Monday 10 June 2019 - Queen's Birthday
    - Monday 7 October 2019 - Labour Day
    - Wednesday 25 December 2019 - Christmas Day
    - Thursday 26 December 2019 - Boxing Day
    - Wednesday 1 January 2020 - New Year’s Day
    - Monday 27 January 2020 - Australia Day
    - Monday 9 March 2020 - Canberra Day
    - Friday 10 April 2020 - Good Friday
    - Saturday 11 April 2020 - Easter Saturday
    - Sunday 12 April 2020 - Easter Sunday
    - Monday 13 April 2020 - Easter Monday
    - Saturday 25 April 2020 – ANZAC Day

The Research Centre telephone enquiry service is available from 9 am until 5 pm Monday to Friday excluding ACT public holidays.

Do you need help with your research? Use our online enquiry service

If you are unable to visit the Reading Room to conduct your research, local research agents are available to undertake research on your behalf.

Copying services

It is possible to purchase copies of items from the Research Centre’s archival collections, depending on:

  • the physical condition of the item
  • any donor restrictions, in the case of Private Records
  • the Copyright Act, and
  • the Archives Act

Copies of archival material are available as a photocopy or a digital copy . You are welcome to visit the Research Centre to select the pages you would like copied from a file. If you are unable to visit the Research Centre to select what you would like copied from a file, we can prepare a copy cost estimate for the entire file. We do not have the resources available to examine the file to determine which pages are relevant to your research. When your request is received our copying staff will prepare a cost estimate and contact you with the details. Request a copy cost estimate

A photocopier is available in the Research Centre reading room for visitors to make copies from books and journals. If you are unable to visit to make copies from these published sources, you can request them via inter-library loan from your local library.