Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Government and country information: Government and Parliamentary publications and archival records

Australian state and federal governments and parliamentary publications; UN and country economic and political information.

Australian Government and Parliamentary publications

Government and Parliamentary publications are an important part of the community's resources. They include reports on matters of current interest, annual reports of government agencies, legislation and regulations, and Hansard, the verbatim record of Parliament. The Library endeavours to collect a complete record of government and parliamentary material for South Australia, the majority of material for the Australian Parliament and selected items for Parliaments of other States and Territories.

GovPubs: the Australian Government Publications Guide,  a useful website put together by the National Library of Australia, details Government publications holdings in Australian State libraries. (Please note that this website is no longer updated and may not have the most current information. Check with an individual library to confirm their holdings). 

For more detailed information on the location of online and hard copy versions of these publications, see the various tabs on this page dedicated to  Hansard, Legislation, Parliamentary Papers and Government gazettes

Archival records relating to Australia and South Australia

State Records of South Australia 

"State Records of South Australia is the government archives of South Australia and holds a large part of our state's official documentary heritage. We hold records covering almost every facet of state and local government administration within South Australia. As a result, our records provide valuable insight and knowledge about the lives of South Australians. The State Records collection holds many maps, plans, registers, films and photographs, in addition to thousands of documents dating from the earliest days of European settlement to recent times."

With ArchivesSearch you can search information about their collection of official State and Local Government records. You can also order records online for viewing at the Gepps Cross Research Centre

State Records of South Australia produces a number of fact sheets for government and the general public to help researchers access records relating to South Australian History

National Archives of Australia (NAA)

“The National Archives' collection contains records about key events and decisions that have shaped Australian history. With more than 40 million items, our collection mainly includes Australian Government records from Federation in 1901 to now. Records come from Australian Government and include records about immigration, military service, transport, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the environment, communications, security and intelligence, foreign affairs, the arts and more. We also hold some important 19th-century records about colonial activities that were transferred to the Australian Government. These include: customs, patents, defence, lighthouses, naturalisation, shipping, postal and telegraphic services.”

A handbook outlining Commonwealth government records about South Australia was released in late 2013 and can be downloaded free from the NAA website here.

The NAA South Australian Research centre is located in the Somerville Reading Room at the State Library, North Terrace Adelaide. (Opening hoursRead this to prepare for your visit. 

You can search their collection via RecordSearch and enter research enquiries and retrieval requests via their online enquiry form..

Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP)

The AJCP is a collection of unique historical material relating to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific dating from 1560 to 1984. 

Records filmed by the AJCP include a diverse range of material from UK Government Departments such as the Admiralty, Home Office, Colonial Office, the Dominions Office held by The National Archives of the UK and County Record Offices as well as personal archives and manuscripts of leading politicians, explorers, scientists, religious and missionary societies, convicts and businesses held by private organisations or individuals.

Detailed descriptions and digitised images of all records filmed by the AJCP are available through online finding aids via the National Library's websiteSpecific searches on collections, personal, family and organisational names and subjects can also be done through Trove.

The State Library holds a selection of AJCP microfilms in the Family History area, accompanied by a list of our holdings. Arrangement on the shelves is by Class (agency), then reel number. See our guide for more information. 

AUSTLII: Australasian Legal Information Institute

AUSTLII logo

AustLII is Australia's most popular online free-access resource for Australian legal information, serving the needs of a multitude of users with over 900,000 hits daily. AustLII is a joint facility of the UTS and UNSW Faculties of Law. AustLII relies on the generosity of its contributors to operate.

AustLII maintains its own collections of primary materials: legislation and court judgements ("case law"). Some legal training or familiarity with the subject matter is sometimes required to make use of these documents. These include Commonwealth and state legislation and case law.

AustLII also has a collection of secondary materials: commentaries and summaries on the law including Australian treaties material (e.g. Australian Treaties Library) and large projects such as the Australian Indigenous Law Library, the Australasian Law Reform Library, and the Australasian Law Journals Library.

Overseas Government and Parliamentary material

The Library holds some overseas material relating to Great Britain, New Zealand and the United States of America. The Library also has a large collection of United Nations publications.

British Parliamentary Papers concerning Australia

The Library holds a facsimile collection of British Parliamentary Papers concerning Australia. They provide valuable historical sources on penal settlement in Australia as well as early correspondence relating to South Australia including the Colonization Commissioners early reports.