Series 387 - Microfiche collection of Australian newspaper cuttings

Identity area

Reference code



Microfiche collection of Australian newspaper cuttings


  • 1952 - 1992 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

6.0 m (15 type 4 and 10 type 3 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator

(1951 - 1989)

Biographical history

The Department of Political Science (DPS) was established within the Research School of Social Sciences in 1949. However, the first appointment to the Department occurred in 1951, when Mr L.C. Webb (later Professor) took up the position of Reader and Head of the Department. For two years, 1958-1959, the DPS combined with the Department of International Relations (DIR) as a temporary arrangement and was known as the Department of Political Science & of International Relations. In 1960, the DPS returned to its original name after the members whose work was in the DIR were transferred to The Research School of Pacific Studies. In 1988, a review of activities of the Research School were carried out and as a result all former departments, centres and units within the RSSS were de-established in 1989. From 1990, the RSSS was organised into four divisions and the DPS subsequently became a part of the Division of Politics and Economics.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

There is a master copy and a reference set of the microfiche which was produced by the Department of Political Science. The original collection covered 1952-1978, with some earlier content resulting from personal collections of newspaper cuttings (eg NSW trade unions from 1938). Annual supplements were produced from 1979 to 1992.

The cuttings were taken from The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Canberra Times and The Australian Financial Review, supplemented by The Courier Mail, The Advertiser, The West Australian, The Mercury, The Examiner, The Northern Territory News, and the weekly National Times and The Sunday Mail (Brisbane). Periodically there are cuttings from other country and suburban papers.

The classification scheme developed over time but the summary published in 1986 gives an indication of the range of topics:
1. Commonwealth: Commonwealth government, Commonwealth parties, Commonwealth parliament, Senate, constitutional crises, Commonwealth elections, Commonwealth electoral system
2. The States (a set for each State): State government, State finance, State parties, State parliaments, State elections, State electoral systems, State trade unions, State local government
3. Foreign Affairs and Defence: general, then by countries and continents
4. Finance and Economic: general, aid to overseas countries, airlines, banking, budget, Campbell Report, Martin report, decimal currency, consumer protection, economic affairs internal, European Economic Community, government enterprises, employment/unemployment, inflation, international trade, marketing (primary products), wool marketing inquiry, national development, Maralinga, overseas investment, pollution and conservation, primary industry, restrictive trade practices, tariff/industry policy, taxation, transport, Vernon Committee report
5. General: arbitration – general, arbitration – wages, broadcasting and television, church-state, education, Federal/State relations, health, medical and drugs, housing, immigration, ethnic communities, New Left, northern development, Northern Territory, personalities, posts and telegraphs, pressure groups, public opinion polls, Returned Servicemen’s League, Public Service, social services, Commonwealth trade unions, industrial disputes, local government, urban development, urban research and decentralisation, civil liberties, law ethics, legal aid, High Court and Constitution, Constitutional Convention, referendums, divorce, homosexuality, abortion, censorship, women’s issues, equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination, aborigines.


System of arrangement

Reference set: By subject within 5 primary topics: Commonwealth, States, Foreign Affairs and Defence, Finance and Economic, and General; the master set is held in chronological order by date of annual update

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open access to reference set; masters not for issue in reading room

Conditions governing reproduction

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Script of material

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Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

‘A Guide to the Microfiche Collection of Australian Newspaper Cuttings’ by Don Aitkin and Gillian Evans, 1986

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Incomplete reference copies of the microfiche are held by a number of libraries, identified as ‘Australian Public Affairs Collection’ (1952-1981), ‘Government and Politics of Australia’ (1982-1989), and ‘Commonwealth Government of Australia (1990-1992).

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Prepared by Maggie Shapley on 8 February 2010




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