State Library of South Australia

National Archives of Australia and State Records of South Australia - 1 year anniversary on North Terrace

Date: 23 September 2015

Since August 2014 the Adelaide Office of the National Archives of Australia and State Records of South Australia have provided services to the public from the Somerville Reading Room in the State Library.

Government House and North Terrace 1935 SRSA GRG35 342 GN5612
Government House and North Terrace, 1935 (SRSA GRG35/342/GN5612)

For over a year researchers have been able to access records of Commonwealth, State and Local governments as well as private archives held by the Library all in one place.

National Archives of Australia

The National Archives of Australia holds a diverse collection in Adelaide ranging from 19th century colonial records to substantial holdings on 20th century immigration and defence. Other areas of particular interest include:

  • 19th century lighthouse logbooks
  • registers of deserters
  • patent and copyright records
  • the Defence Science and Technology Organisation records such as those relating to the Woomera testing site
  • material relating to railways and
  • WW1 (Torrens Island) and WW2 (Loveday) internment.

If you have family who migrated to South Australia post World War II it is likely that we hold records relating to this. A significant part of the national collection has been digitised and is available online.

Australian Travel Poster A city in a garden Adelaide South Australia 1932 NAA M948 25

Australian Travel Poster, 'A city in a garden, Adelaide, South Australia', 1932 (NAA: M948, 25)

State Records of South Australia

State Records of South Australia holds records covering almost every facet of State and Local government administration within South Australia. The collection includes maps, plans, registers, films and photographs in addition to thousands of documents dating from the earliest days of European settlement to recent times. Of particular interest to family historians are the records relating to:

  • schools
  • councils
  • hospitals and asylums
  • police and gaols
  • early immigration
  • social welfare
  • insolvency
  • land records and
  • public employment.

Both organisations are open to the public between 10am and 5pm, Tuesdays to Fridays. Staff are available to help you begin your research into their collections and provide assistance with ordering records to view in the Somerville Reading Room.

Why not come along and find out more about the collections and services both organisations offer at Find Yourself in the Archives, our regular monthly information sessions? These take place on the last Wednesday of each month in Bray Room 1, State Library of SA between 10.30 & 11.30am. The next session is on 28 October. For bookings please call 8204 8787 or email

Story by: Nick Gleghorn

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