National Archives Preservation Facility

National Archives Preservation Facility, Canberra, 2017
National Archives Preservation Facility, Canberra, 2017
Photographer: John Gollings

Preserving Your History for the Future

The future of the 40 million Commonwealth records held by the National Archives has been bolstered through three major projects: the upgrade of the Chester Hill repository in Sydney, completed in late 2015; the National Archives Preservation Facility (NAPF) in Canberra, opened in June 2017; and a third that is subject to further approval processes. The combined capacity will enable the Archives to accept records until 2031.


The opening of the NAPF in Canberra is an exciting evolution for the Archives. The architecturally designed, environmentally sustainable building has storage for approximately 25 per cent of the extensive collection. It houses 104 kilometres of paper records, more than nine kilometres of audiovisual records and a digital archive, ensuring the preservation and conservation of the irreplaceable collection continues into the future.

The relocation of records to the NAPF disrupted public access to the Canberra-based collection.

With the opening of the facility, business as usual access services have resumed.

We thank you for your patience and cooperation as we moved 15 million records to their new home.

We are now in the process of addressing a backlog of access applications. This may take many months. Again, we thank you for your patience and understanding.

If you have a query about access to records you can ask us a question.

Why did we build the NAPF?

Preservation and conservation

The records in our care come in many shapes, sizes and formats; some are fragile and prone to deterioration. Controlled storage environments and specialised preservation facilities slow down that process.

Value to the Australian public

The collection contains significant Australian Government records, reflecting our history and identity. Our purpose is to preserve, store and make accessible this information for the benefit of all Australians.

Environmentally sustainable

The NAPF's passive, green design minimises energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and its environmental footprint.


The Archives and DOMA Group have formed a partnership that includes a 30-year lease of the building.

Other projects


In 2015, the Archives upgraded its Chester Hill repository – the largest of the Archives' storage facilities, including a large proportion of the audiovisual collection.

Phase 3

Phase 3 will allow the Archives to accept records until 2031. The project will involve refurbishing an existing building in the ACT to help accommodate some of the nearly 254 shelf kilometres of paper records that government agencies will transfer into our custody. Phase 3 is subject to further approval processes.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019