NT Archives Centre

In July 2013 the Northern Territory Archives Service co-located with the National Archives of Australia, Darwin office, in the Northern Territory Archives Centre in Millner. 

This brought together the archival collections of both agencies, offering you a shared search room and reading room.

For contact information, location and opening hours, go to contact NT Archives Service.


Collections of the National Archives of Australia and the Northern Territory Archives Service bring together archival records spanning 170 years of the Territory’s history. They include records from the Commonwealth Government, the Northern Territory Government, community archives, and the Northern Territory oral history collection.

The Northern Territory Archives Centre has four collections from two archives in one location, operating with a shared reference and reading room service.

Treasures of the Northern Territory Archives Centre that provide valuable historical insight to Territory history include: 

  • the notebook of John McArthur from the settlement at Port Essington 1843 
  • the first meteorological recordings from the original site for the town of Palmerston at Adam Bay at the mouth of the Adelaide River, and further recordings from the new site of Palmerston on the Port of Darwin in 1865
  • inwards correspondence of the Government Resident from 1870 until 1912 and pastoral lease records dating from this era
  • Certificates of Exemption from the dictation test for many non-European residents of Darwin during the White Australia Policy era
  • police journals from stations across the Territory
  • records relating to the administration of welfare for Aboriginal people throughout the Territory from the late 1920s.

There are many records documenting the impact of World War II on the Top End, including the evacuation of civilians from all areas. The Post Office diary with its entry of 19 February 1942 illustrates the events of that pivotal day. The collections include many images donated by former service personnel who served in the Territory during this era.

The remarkable oral history collection, compiled over 30 years, includes recorded memories reaching back over 100 years of Territory history.

The collections also include more recent records of the development of Uluru and Kakadu National Parks. 

The devastation of Darwin by Cyclone Tracy and the subsequent reconstruction of the city is also well documented.

Last updated: 18 February 2016

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