In March 2014, former Prime Minister, The Honourable John Howard OM AC, announced the transfer of his official archive of Commonwealth records accumulated whilst he was a Member of Parliament, Minister and Prime Minister, from the National Archives of Australia (NAA) to UNSW.
The John Howard Collection represents a nationally significant record of Australia’s recent history. It comprises more than 10,000 items official records from the early years of John Howard’s political career through his time as Treasurer, Leader of the Opposition and Prime Minister, covering the period from 1974 to 2007.
The transfer is made possible via a unique partnership between the UNSW Canberra and the NAA to deliver enhanced access and extended opportunities for use of the records by both researchers and the public.
The collection of Australia’s second-longest serving Prime Minister is being progressively relocated from the NAA to UNSW Canberra, as records become available for public access under the Archives Act 1983 and enter the open access period.
UNSW Canberra received the first tranche of material from NAA in 2014—on the 40th anniversary of Mr Howard entering Federal Parliament in 1974 as the Member for Bennelong. These materials are drawn from the period 1974–1996. More records will be progressively received over the next 15 years with a total of 500 metres expected by 2028.
Public access to the Collection is available by appointment and in the John Howard Reading Room at the UNSW Canberra Academy Library. An online guide to the John Howard Collection (NAA 001) is available via the Special Collections Finding Aid Index. All requests should be made via the Special Collections Enquiry form.
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