Guide to the John Howard Collection [NAA 001]

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Manuscript Name John Howard Collection
Manuscript Number NAA 001
Last Updated October 2021
Extent 317 boxes (70 m)
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra

Notes, personal papers, correspondence, Commonwealth records, press clippings, transcripts of speeches and interviews, election pamphlets and miscellaneous material relating to the Howard Government.

Collection Subject Type 


Scope and Content

NAA 001 consists of John Howard's official government records, amassed by John Howard and staff as parliamentarian, transferred to the National Archives of Australia and housed by special arrangement at UNSW Canberra as the 'John Howard Collection' (under Section 64 of the Archives Act 1983). Although the records are predominantly official in nature, the archive includes some residual personal papers. The first tranche of materials, made available in 2014, includes notes, personal papers, correspondence, early Commonwealth records, press clippings, transcripts of speeches and interviews, election pamphlets and other items covering the period from 1974-1996.

Date Range of Content 


Biographical Note 

The Hon. John Winston Howard (26 July 1939 - ), OM, AC served as the 25th Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1996 to 2007 for three terms. Only Sir Robert Menzies served in the position longer. Howard was leader of the Liberal Party from 1985 to 1989 and from 1995 to 2007. He was awarded an honorary degree from UNSW in 2013 (Doctor of Laws honoris causa) for significant service to the nation as Treasurer and Prime Minister of Australia. The UNSW Canberra Special Collections Reading Room in the Academy Library was opened by John Howard in August 2014 and is named in his honour. 


Wikipedia: retrieved 29 October 2021

National Archives of Australia: John Howard Biography retrieved 29 October 2021

UNSW Canberra: John Howard Reading Room retrieved 29 October 2021

Administrative Information 

Access and Copying Conditions 

Access to the John Howard Collection is available through the John Howard Reading Room within the UNSW Canberra Academy Library and can be searched online via the Special Collections Finding Aid and the National Archives’ RecordSearch database. As the custodian of this collection, UNSW Canberra assumes responsibility for the preservation, digitisation, storage, and care of the John Howard Collection and for enabling access to researchers for tranches in the open period, held by UNSW Canberra.

Access: Open Access for tranches received by UNSW Canberra.  Other tranches are closed until NAA opens them under the Archives Act 1983 and releases them to UNSW Canberra. The last tranche is expected in 2028.

This collection contains a variety of copyright material. Copyright is held by the creator of each item. Specific conditions for this collection are listed below. If no conditions are stipulated, then the standard terms of the Copyright Act apply for published and unpublished items. Digitised material from manuscript collections is provided to clients by UNSW Canberra in good faith for private study and research only and may not be published or re-purposed without the express and written permission of the individual legal holder of that copyright. Refer also to the UNSW copyright, disclaimer and takedown policy. 

Copying: Crown copyright.  The National Archives has granted a non-exclusive, royalty free licence to use, publish and make copies, reproductions, and adaptations of the whole or any part of the Material, in any form. There is some third party material in the collection. For this material the National Archives had endorsed copying under the Terms of the Archives Act, which allows third party material to be copied.

Preferred Citation 

John Howard Collection, Special Collections, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, NAA 001, Box [Number], Folder [Number]

Followed by the NAA preferred citation style: NAA: Series number, control symbol (item number). Refer to NAA Factsheet 7 ‘citing archival records’ for more details:


Access to the collection has been made possible through a partnership between the National Archives of Australia and UNSW Canberra under Section 64 of the Archives Act 1983, signed in June 2014. The Section 64 arrangement ensures the records remain part of the archival resources of the Commonwealth subject to the provisions of the Archives Act 1983 i.e. owned by National Archives while custody of the collection is held by UNSW Canberra.

UNSW Canberra will progressively receive papers and Commonwealth records from the National Archives John Howard Collection in tranches as they enter the open access period, as defined by the Archives Act 1983, and become available for public access. The first tranche was received in August 2014. Papers from the first years of John Howard’s Prime Ministerial period 1996 became available on 1 January 2019 with the complete set of papers, including his last year as Prime Minister in 2007, available by 2028.

Additional Information 

Related Material 


Gifts given to John Howard while in office have been donated by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and Howard to the UNSW John Howard Prime Ministerial Library. Located at the Museum of Australian Democracy, this permanent object exhibition was officially opened in December 2018 and is open to the public.

The green Chesterfield armchairs and sofa used by John Howard in his Prime Ministerial office were moved to the John Howard Reading Room in 2016 to mark the 20th anniversary of the election of the Howard Government. They are on long-term loan to UNSW from the Department of Parliamentary Services.

Archival material

Special Collections houses two separate archives documenting John Howard's political career: NAA 001 (official records, as described in this finding aid) and JHL 001 (personal papers). Complementing NAA 001, John Howard's personal papers, amassed and kept by John Howard in a private capacity, are separately housed at UNSW Canberra at JHL 001 as the 'Papers of John Howard'. Although the papers are predominantly Howard's personal collection, the archive also includes some residual original and copied official records. The Finding Aid for JHL 001 can be found here:

Subject Keywords 


Howard, John, 1939 – Archives

Liberal Party of Australia – History – 20th century

Political leaders & leadership

Prime ministers – Australia – Archives

Australia – Politics and government – 1974-2007

Australia – Politics and government – 20th century

Personal Names 

John Howard, 1939 -  

Corporate Names 

Liberal Party of Australia

National Archives of Australia


Prime Ministers


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