Primary contact65 Martin Place, Sydney
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
In 1911, legislation established the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. In 1959, this original body corporate was preserved as the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) in legislation. At that same time, the commercial and savings banking functions were transferred into a new institution, which carried on the old name of Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
The Reserve Bank of Australia is Australia's central bank and derives its functions and powers from the Reserve Bank Act 1959 (Cth). Its duty is to contribute to the stability of the currency, full employment, and the economic prosperity and welfare of the Australian people. It does this by setting the cash rate to meet an agreed medium-term inflation target, working to maintain a strong financial system and efficient payments system, and issuing the nation's banknotes.
The Reserve Bank provides certain banking services as required to the Australian Government and its agencies, and to a number of overseas central banks and official institutions. Additionally, it manages Australia's gold and foreign exchange reserves.
The Reserve Bank complies with the provisions of the Archives Act 1983 (Cth).
The Archives contains records relating to central banking; the economy and monetary policy; financial markets; financial system surveillance; banking; printing of stamps; banknote issue, printing and design functions.
The Archives holds records of the Reserve Bank and records it inherited:
The archives are in a variety of media and formats which include files, volumes, photographs, films, plans, posters, banknotes and stamps.
Entry to the Archives is by appointment only. On receipt of an enquiry, the Archivists will assess whether there is appropriate material to meet the request, after which a time will be arranged for the researcher to visit the Archives.
The Reserve Bank complies with the provisions of the Archives Act 1983 (Cth), and makes records available to the public 20 years from the date of their creation. In some cases, records may be made available after 15 years, with this early release at the Bank's discretion.
Limited scanning services available. Parts of the collection are digitised.
Digital cameras are allowed in the Research Room for the purpose of taking images of documents / records.
A Research Room is provided within the Reserve Bank's Information Department on Level 7, 65 Martin Place, Sydney. Appointments necessary.
The Museum, which houses part of the Bank's Archives, is on the ground floor of this building and is open from Monday to Friday 10am-4pm. No prior appointment is required to visit this space.