John Howard Collection

In March 2014 former Prime Minister, The Honourable John Howard OM AC announced the transfer from the National Archives of Australia (NAA) to UNSW Australia of his collection of personal papers and associated Commonwealth records accumulated while a member of Parliament, and as a Minister and then Prime Minister.

The John Howard Collection represents a nationally significant record of Australia’s recent history. It comprises more than 10,000 items of personal papers and official records from the early years of John Howard’s political career to his time as Treasurer, Leader of the Opposition and Prime Minister, covering the period from 1974 to 2007.

The transfer is made possible via a unique partnership between the UNSW Canberra and the National Archives of Australia that will deliver enhanced access and extended opportunities for use of the records by both academic researchers and the general public.

The Collection of Australia’s second-longest serving Prime Minister is being progressively transferred from the NAA to UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy as records become available for public access under the Archives Act 1983 and enter the open access period.

UNSW Canberra received the first tranche of material from NAA in 2014 – the 40th anniversary of Mr Howard entering Federal Parliament in 1974 as the Member for Bennelong. These materials are drawn from the period 1974 to 1996.  More records will be progressively received over the next 15 years with a total of 500 metres expected by 2028.

The Collection is publicly available for access, by appointment, in the John Howard Reading Room at the UNSW Canberra Academy Library.  An online guide to the John Howard Collection is available via the Special Collections Finding Aid Index. All requests should be made via the Special Collections Enquiry form.

Opening of the John Howard Reading Room August 2014

The John Howard Reading Room at UNSW Canberra was officially opened on 29 August 2014 by Mr Kerry Stokes AC, with the Hon John Howard OM AC attending the ceremony among other guests.  The new Reading Room, named in honour of Australia's second longest-serving Prime Minister, will enable viewing and research of items held in the UNSW Canberra Library’s Special Collections, including Mr Howard’s personal papers.

A conversation with John Howard on Leadership at UNSW Canberra June 2015

On 23 June 2015 UNSW Canberra hosted a Public Lecture A Conversation with the Honourable Mr John Howard OM AC, where the Australia’s 25th and second longest serving Prime Minister had an ‘open’ conversation on the subject of leadership with Professor Fred Hilmer AO (former UNSW Vice Chancellor).

John Howard and Professor Tom Frame at the opening of the John Howard Prime Ministerial Library, 4 December 2018

On 4 December 2018 The Howard Library at Old Parliament House, Canberra was officially opened by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.  The Howard Library inccorporates an exhibition of objects and archival sources which explore the main issues and events associated with the successive Howard Governments.  Read more about Australia's newest Prime Ministerial Library here.

UNSW Canberra’s Howard Library opens at Old Parliament House