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Australia: Political Parties Material

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0101 PP.AT
Held at: Institute of Commonwealth Studies
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Full title: Australia: Political Parties Material
Date(s): 1930-
Level of description: Collection (Fonds)
Extent: 29 boxes
Name of creator(s): Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

In 1901 the previously self-governing colonies of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania came together to form the Commonwealth of Australia, and the struggle for authority between these states (and the later admitted Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory) and the federal centre has remained an issue ever since. Other issues that have dominated the post-war political scene include debates over republicanism, the perennial emergence of third party forces to challenge the hegemony of the ALP and the Liberal-National Party coalition and the fear of the other, most often evoked by immigration but also by the perceived threat of communism pre-1989. Possibly the most controversial episode of the recent political past was the 1975 Whitlam dismissal crisis, which provoked still unresolved arguments over the constitution and the relationship between the House of Representatives and the Senate. All of these issues are raised, referred to and discussed within the materials here held.


Scope and content/abstract:

Manifestos, speeches, pamphlets, leaflets, letters, newsletters, journals, posters, stickers, badges and miscellaneous election material at federal, state and youth levels issued by the Australian Council of Social Service, the Australian Christian Party, the Australian Democrats, the Australian Family Movement, the Aboriginal Independent Party, the Australian Labor Party, the Adelaide Revolutionary Marxists, the Australia Party, the Call for Australia Citizen's Movement, the Country Liberal Party, the Australian Conservative Party, the Country Party, the Communist Party of Australia, the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist), the Democratic Labor Party, the Environmental Independents, the Henry George League, the Immigration Party, the Liberal Party of Australia, the Libertarian Movement of Australia, the Libertarian Party of Australia, the National Socialist Party of Australia, the National Centre Party, the Nuclear Disarmament Party, the National Party, the Progress Party, the People's World Commonwealth Party, the Republican Party of Australia, the Spartacist League of Australia and New Zealand, the Socialist Labor Party, the World Socialist Party, the Socialist Party of Australia (Anti-Communist), the Socialist Party of Australia, the Trades and Labor Council, the United Australia Party, the United Christian Party, the United Tasmania Group, and the Workers Party.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
Predominantly English, some items in Greek, Italian and other languages.

System of arrangement:

Alphabetically by party, and then in rough chronological order.

Conditions governing access:

Open to all for research purposes; access is free for anyone in higher education.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies can usually be obtained - apply to library staff.

Finding aids:

Records at item level on library catalogue (SASCAT)

Archival Information

Archival history:

The ICS political parties collection was begun in 1960-1961, with special emphasis being placed on primary material such as party constitutions, policy statements, convention reports and election manifestos. Since then, the main method of gathering material has been to appeal directly to political parties throughout the Commonwealth, though contributions from Institute members and staff following visits to relevant countries have been significant. More recently material has been collected by means of downloading documents from the websites of the major parties.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Allied Materials

Related material:

See also Australia: Trades Unions Material (TU.AT) and Australia: Pressure Groups Material (PG.AT), as well as Political Party, Trades Unions and Pressure Groups Materials for other Commonwealth countries and related material in the library's main classified sequence, all held at the ICS.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Description compiled by Daniel Millum, Political Archives Project Officer at the Institutes of Commonwealth and Latin American Studies

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Created 28/01/2004 AIM25

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