Guide to Australian Business Records

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 repository

Businesses 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:

Origins of the Guide:

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.