The Archives is committed to making its collection available online and through its network of reading rooms located in every state and territory capital city. To date, digital copies of over 41 million pages of records are available online through the Archives’ collection catalogue, RecordSearch, and new images are added each week.

Our on-demand digitisation service allows researchers to quickly and easily order online digital copies of records they require within our published standards of service. It also reduces handling of the collection helping to preserve it for future generations.

While we appreciate that the price increase is considerable, in 2016 the Archives reviewed its charging regime for copying and other services in light of Budget savings. The Archives needs to ensure that core services, such as providing access via reading rooms and responding to more than 80,000 inquiries each year from members of the public, are maintained. The review resulted in an increase in prices to offset the production costs of the digitisation of records.

The Archives has levied charges since 2007 to digitise paper records at the request of the public. This increase in copying charges, the first since 2013, is based on full cost-recovery as provided by the
Archives Act 1983

In the past, the price the Archives charged researchers only represented a portion of the cost of making the digital copy, with the Archives absorbing the significant difference. Unfortunately, the Archives is no longer able to absorb those costs. In future, we intend to review our fees and charges on a more regular basis.

The basis of our charging has not changed. The small, standard and large digitisation charges are based on the average size of records within a series (a group of related records) and not on the number of pages within individual records. The relevant charge is then applied to all records within the series, regardless of their individual size.


Researchers viewing original records in Archives’ reading rooms are welcome to use their digital cameras to copy items without charge.

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Leslie,  I understand what you mean but unfortunately these large price increases have put access out of the reach of many people including myself

Do you know if WW2 army records which are not online would be available in Sydney in the Chester Hill viewing room or would I have to make a 5 hour trip to Canberra to view them ?

If not it looks like I would never be able to access my Fathers WW2 records as he died 2 years ago & I am unable to talk to him about his war service - I am very disappointed as I wanted to get his brothers record as well for his daughter

As I am an aged pensioner is there any discount offered?  I have also worked on this NAA forum helping others for several years free of charge and sometimes the queries take many hours to research


Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you for your reply.

To view original records you will need to visit the reading room of the office where they are located (Canberra in the case of WWII Army records). Records are not transferred interstate, to ensure their ongoing safety and preservation.

If you have someone in or near Canberra, they could come into the Canberra reading room to view the record on your behalf, once normal services resume in July 2017. They would be able to use a digital device to photograph the record.

Further information regarding our charges, and your options, can be found on our Fact Sheet 51.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.


Leslie (Archives staff)

Leslie,   Thanks for your reply - looks like my only option is a 10 hour return trip to Canberra in the future - unable to do this at present unfortunately



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