Big news for those who are interested in Australian military records. Or more specifically, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) records, as the Australian Defence Force has just announced that they are partnering with the National Archives of Australia (NAA) to give the public access to a large collection of significant RAAF documents, many of which have been locked away for one hundred years.

They say … “the public will gain online access to approximately 191 bound volumes of documents – including the signatures of first Chiefs of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sir Richard Williams and Air Marshal Stanley Goble”. The Air Board and Air Council Agendas and Submissions, along with Chief of Air Staff Advisory Committee (CASAC/CAFAC) Submissions, are set to be digitised through a $300,000 project delivered with the National Archives of Australia (NAA).

Director General History and Heritage – Air Force Air Commodore John Meier says the age and fragility of the documents has meant access has been heavily restricted, until now.

“As the Air Force approaches its 100th anniversary, it’s important for us to reflect on our past and what we have achieved – these records tell a story that we are very proud of.”

NAA Director-General David Fricker says the project is expected to run for 12 months, and metadata will be assigned to the documents so they can be easily searched and accessed. 

“We value the opportunity to provide access through our online database RecordSearch, which will bolster the records we already have available online regarding the Air Force’s history and heritage. We know the Australian public is particularly interested in our military history and expect these records will be highly sought after.”

You can read more about announcement on the Australian Government’s Department of Defence website.