About the Guide
This Guide is an endeavour to draw together historical information on Australian businesses and business people (business entities). The intention is to link business entities with information on extant archival records created by the entities and held in archives and libraries, together with citations of published works about the entities. Where business entities are known to be related these relationships have been included as hypertext links.
The Guide can be accessed through an alphabetical Browse List of all entities (the blue bar on the Browse page) or through one of the seven categories (ie Corporate Bodies; Industry Bodies; Partnerships; Pastoral Stations; People; Statutory Authorities; Repositories). The repository browse allows you to see at a glance which entities records are held in a particular repositoryBusinesses and Business People in the Guide:
To be included in the Guide a business or business person must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- archives of the business or personal papers of the businessman are held in a recognised collecting archive;
- the business has a recognised in-house archive;
- the business has a published history or there are journal articles on the businesses history;
- a biography of the business person has been published, either as a monograph, in a dictionary of biography or in a journal;
- inclusion of the business or business person would increase the understanding to a business that meets the above criteria;
- The Guide Co-ordinator decides that inclusion of the business and/or business person will enhance an understanding of Australia's business history.
The initial content of this guide has its origins in Australian Research Council funded research undertaken at the Australian National University by Prof Simon Ville and Dr Grant Fleming. As part of research into Australian corporate leadership, the researchers identified the location of records of over 200 selected Australian companies. This part of the research was published as D. Terwiel, S. P. Ville and G. A. Fleming, Australian Business Records: An Archival Guide Canberra : Australian National University, Faculty of Economics and Commerce, Dept. of Economic History, 1998.
The ANU researchers generously made the data from their research available for inclusion in a website on Australian business archives that was supported by the Australian Society of Archivists and was launched at the Society's Annual Conference in 2000. Since the launch of the website the content of the site has grown slowly.
In 2003 the National Archives of Australia announced the creation of the Ian Maclean Award to encourage excellence in the archival profession and to enhance understanding of the role of archives in Australia. The inaugural award was made to Bruce Smith in 2004. Funding through the Award has enabled the content of the Guide to be significantly enhanced. In addition it has been given a new look and its own domain name. The National Archives of Australia are gratefully thanked for their contribution to the expansion of this site and to a greater understanding of business archives in Australia.
- The original data included in the Guide was generously provided by ANU Researchers Simon Ville, Grant Fleming and Diana Twirzel who in 1998 when the data was collected were based at the Australian National University.
- The National Archives of Australia through the Ian Maclean Award have enabled the content of the Guide to be significantly enhanced.
- The University of Melbourne Archives and the Noel Butlin Archives Centre, Australian National University have provided inkind support during the period of the Ian Maclean Award.
- Prof Simon Ville provided information on published resources.
- Alex Messina and Heather Vile, Bachelor of Business (Information Management) students at RMIT expanded upon the information on published resources provided by Prof Ville and the bibliography - Check List of Australian Business Histories and Biographies of Businessmen published in Business Archives and History in Volume III, No 1, February 1963, pp 119-137.
- Jason Benjamin and Catherine Nolan, post graduate students in information management at RMIT undertook research on some of the entities included in the guide.
- Pages in the Guide have been produced using the Online Heritage Resource Manager, a software tool developed by the eScholarship Research Centre (eSRC) ( formerly the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre), University of Melbourne. The Centre has also provided inkind support during the period of the Ian Maclean Award.
- Fred Niven, Australian Airline Historian has provided information and images relating to the Ansett Group of Airlines.
- The work of Julie Marshall and Richard Trahair in their A checklist of biographies of Australian businessmen, published by La Trobe University Library, 1980 has been helpful in identifying published resources about Australian business people.
- Russ Weakley's 2006 publication Teach Yourself CSS in 10 Minutes, published by SAMS has been a great help to me in coming to grips with CSS.