These are selected sites for researching Australian history on the Internet and provide a starting place for researchers in this field. They provide a diverse range of information on Australian history resources as well as providing links to other useful sites.


  • Ancient heritage, modern society (Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; archived website.) - introduction to Australian history covering European settlement, a nation is born, the impact of war, post-war prosperity, and a changing society.
  • European discovery and the colonisation of Australia (Australian Government) - article about European maritime discovery and the British colonisation of Australia that includes links to other Australian history sites dealing with subjects such as Aboriginal life and heritage, convicts, early explorers, sea exploration, Captain Cook's life and voyages, Sir Joseph Banks, Matthew Flinders, and the First Fleet.
  • Australian history - lots of links to websites containing primary and secondary sources dealing with Australian Aborigines, early history, maritime history, explorers, bushrangers, wars, migration and so on.
  • Australian dictionary of biography online - contains concise, authoritative accounts of the lives of significant and representative persons in Australian history.
  • Federation Gateway - helps in locating a wide variety of materials (books, web sites, pictures and manuscripts) relating to the Federation of Australia. 

Historical texts online

  • Australian literary and historical texts - part of the SETIS project (Scholarly Electronic Text and Image Service at the University of Sydney Library), this collection comprises editions of hundreds of Australian literary and historical texts.
  • Australian history (Project Gutenberg of Australia) - lots of information about the history and exploration of Australia together with a number of freely available ebooks about Australia or written by Australians.
  • South seas - concentrates on the history of European voyaging and cross-cultural encounters in the Pacific between 1760 and 1800. Provides access to the full text of works such as James Cook’s Endeavour Journal.
  • Documenting a democracy: Australia's story - covers constitutional and political history with an emphasis on federated Australia.

Manuscripts, archives and registers

  • National Archives of Australia - holder of records of Commonwealth government agencies and significant individuals within the government. Also provides access to information about archives around Australia, including Commonwealth, State, Territory and others.
  • Noel Butlin Archives Centre - archives of industrial organisations, businesses, professional associations, industry bodies and the labour movement.
  • Australian Heritage Bibliography - a bibliographic database about significant places in our natural and cultural environment, maintained by the Australian Heritage Council.
  • Australian Memory of the World Register - a selective list of Australia's significant documentary heritage.


  • Collections Australia Network (CAN) - gateway to museums, galleries, archives and libraries throughout Australia.
  • Australian Museum - Australia's first museum established in 1827 with an international reputation in the fields of natural history and indigenous studies research, community programs and exhibitions.
  • National Museum of Australia - museum of social history, and focuses on three broad research areas that feed into the Museum's three themes of land, nation and people: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture; Australia's history and society since European settlement in 1788; and, the interaction of people with the environment.
  • Powerhouse Museum - Australia's largest museum with an unique and diverse collection of objects spanning history, science, technology, design, industry, decorative arts, music, transport and space exploration.
  • Australian War Memorial - collection of material commemorating and recording the Australian experience of war.
  • Australian National Maritime Museum - collecting and exhibition development centred around five display themes – Discovery (including First Australians), Passengers, Commerce, Leisure and Navy. Another was added when the USA funded a gallery of US-Australian maritime links as its gift to the nation for the 1988 Bicentenary celebrations. 


The national, state and territory library sites provide access to their own useful collections and resources, and to unique items of interest.


These sites provide information about the collecting institutions and their policies. Access to collection catalogues is also often available although generally not to the documents themselves.

Overseas sources of Australian historical documents

There are overseas sites that contain collections of documents of importance to the Australian historian. Information on these collections can be obtained at the following sites. In some cases it is also possible to search online resources for information.