Types of records

Establishment of the Australian National University

The records include files, committee minutes and indexes for the early years 1946-1951 when ANU was being established. The activities documented include academic planning, recruiting staff overseas for the new national research institution and planning for the site, notably the design and construction of University House.

Canberra University College

A variety of records documenting the early years of undergraduate education in the ACT are held in the University Archives. More information is contained in the subject guide Canberra University College 1930-1960.


The collection is particularly strong on images of the ANU campus in the 1950s and 1960s when many of the major buildings such as University House and the Menzies and Chifley Library buildings were constructed. There are also many photographs of ceremonial occasions, starting from the laying of the foundation stone for the John Curtin School of Medical Research by Ben Chifley in 1949. Some photographs from the collection are available on the University's Open Research website.

Staff and student records

Files for senior staff and students who achieved prominence in later life (eg Prime Ministers) are held by the Archives. These and other sources are outlined on the researching former ANU staff and students page.


There are agenda, minutes and papers of the ANU Council and its Committees and of Faculty Boards and the Board of the Institute of Advanced Studies. Agenda papers and minutes of recent Council meetings may be found on the ANU website.

Subject files

The University's central official files contain a wealth of information about many subjects such as the origins and development of ANU and the relationships between ANU and the Commonwealth Government and between ANU and the Canberra community.

Annual reports

The University Archives holds files of annual reports from academic departments and schools and administrative units to the ANU Council. These are more detailed than the published annual reports to Parliament. For more information, see the subject guide Annual Reports.

Oral History Project

The Oral History Project was undertaken in the early 1990s to assist in the research for the history The making of the Australian National University 1946-1996. The records of the Project include transcripts and tapes of interviews with many ANU pioneers. For more information, see the subject guide Oral History Project.

Papers of academic staff

The University Archives holds several collections of papers of ANU academic staff. Some collections consist mainly of research records, while others document the administrative work of academic staff or contain copies of research papers and speeches. Check our database to see which academic staff have donated their records to the University Archives.

Australian Forestry School

Records of the Australian Forestry School from 1926 are held by the University Archives. For more information, see the Australian Forestry School subject guide in the Reference documents section.

University House

University Archives holds records about University house from its inception. For more information see the University House subject guide in the reference documents section.

Reference collection

The University Archives holds many ANU official publications including calendars, annual reports to Parliament, faculty handbooks, and statistical handbooks.

Reference documents


  •  University Archives
     +61 2 6125 2219