The Research Centre holds official records, private records and published collections that tell the story of the Australian experience of war. These collections form a valuable resource for any research into Australian military history. The Research Centre has an ongoing digitisation program to make historically significant and heavily used collections available to the public on the Memorial’s website. The digitisation of these valuable and unique collection items helps preserve the originals for future generations.
While on active service army headquarters, formations, and units are required to keep war diaries recording their daily activities. The Memorial has selectively digitised war diaries from its various collections based on preservation needs and high usage. Not all war diaries held by the Memorial are available online. The remaining diaries may be viewed in the Reading Room of the Memorial’s Research Centre.
Digitised images of selected original war diaries recording the daily activities of Australian Army units are available for the following conflicts:
- First World War diaries - AWM4
- Second World War diaries - AWM52
- Korean War diaries - AWM85
- Korean War Unit diaries - AWM373
- South East Asian Conflicts diaries - AWM95
Official record of activities of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). They were submitted by commanding officers to the Navy Office either monthly or quarterly in both wartime and peacetime.
Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean was Australia’s official war correspondent during the First World War and was later appointed official historian for that conflict. The personal records created by Bean in the course of those appointments include volumes of diaries, notebooks, and folders kept during and after the war and were used by him to write the official history of the First World War.
Since its inception, the Memorial has sponsored Australia's official war histories. Official histories are "official" in the sense they are commissioned by government as the national record of Australia’s involvement in particular conflicts. The official historians are granted unrestricted access to closed period and security classified government records. The Australian official war histories contain the authors' own interpretations and judgements and do not follow any official or government line.
Full text, digital format
Titles, authors and additional information
The biographical databases also include links to digitised archival records: