The Reserve Bank of Australia Archives aims to ensure that valuable Reserve Bank records are preserved for both official and public use. Records held in the Archives document the Bank's corporate memory and include information on our origins, functions and operations.

The Reserve Bank's records generally date from its foundation in 1912 (as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia) and include material on:

  • central banking
  • the economy and monetary policy
  • financial markets
  • financial system surveillance
  • banking and note design/printing/issue functions (some of which are displayed in our Museum)
  • stamp design/printing

The Archives are in a variety of media and formats which include files, volumes, an extensive photographic collection, audio/video tapes, films, plans, posters, note and stamp printing items. The Archives also has a collection of records of savings banks that amalgamated with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, dating from 1832. The earliest record held in the Reserve Bank Archives is a legal document from September 1824 between John Austin and Thomas Wylde, relating to the sale of land in New South Wales. This document, part of the Savings Bank of New South Wales collection, is thought to have originally come from an earlier bank called Campbell's Bank, which was established in Sydney in 1819.

Access Policy

The Reserve Bank complies with the provisions of the Archives Act 1983 and makes records open to the public 20 years from the date of their creation. However, in most instances the Bank goes further to make records available to the public 15 years from their creation date, with this early release at the Bank's discretion.

Entry to the Reserve Bank Archives is by appointment only. Staff act as intermediaries between researchers and the information, locating and providing records as appropriate and supervising the use of the records.

After receiving a written enquiry, detailing the nature of the information required, Archives staff will assess whether there is appropriate material to meet the request. If so, the researcher is contacted to arrange a time to visit the Archives. An archival research room is provided within the Bank's Information Department.

The Bank's Archivist can be contacted on:

Phone +61 2 9551 9830
Fax +61 2 9551 8000
Street Address The Manager
Information Management Division
Information Department Reserve Bank of Australia
GPO Box 3947
view map

Generally, the Reserve Bank Archives are available for study between 9.30 am and 4.30 pm on weekdays, excluding Public and NSW Bank holidays, and are located in the Bank's Head Office at 65 Martin Place, Sydney. The building is easily accessible by either bus (closest, Macquarie & Elizabeth Streets) or train (closest, Martin Place Station).