Within popular culture, the concept of spies and espionage has always captured people’s imaginations. There are popular perceptions in spy and detective cinematic and literary genres such as in the James Bond series. These perceptions are often about extraordinary deeds to defeat an ever-changing enemy.
However, real men and women engaged in intelligence and security work remain largely in the shadows and are faceless, nameless entities subverting threats, sometimes real and sometimes perceived, from within Australia and overseas. This exhibition brings the stories of those involved out of the shadows and in to the light.
The exhibition highlights records and objects from the National Archives’ extensive security and intelligence collection from Federation in 1901 through to the present day. In addition, it includes loan items from other agencies such as ASIO and international loans from the National Cryptologic Museum in the US. These unique objects were used by actual spies, officers, agents and codebreakers.
A national touring exhibition developed and presented by the National Archives of Australia
Exhibition development supported by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, and Visions of Australia
Image credit: Vladimir and Evdokia Petrov with ASIO officers Ron Richards (seated) and Ernie Redford, 1954 NAA: A6285, 3