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Chinese–Australian Journeys: Records on Travel, Migration, and Settlement, 1860–1975


Chinese–Australian Journeys: Records on Travel, Migration, and Settlement, 1860–1975

Paul Jones

Published by the National Archives of Australia


Image a: Chinese–Australian Journeys: Records on travel, migration and settlement, 1860–1975 - Front cover

Chinese–Australian Journeys: Records on travel, migration and settlement, 1860–1975 - Front cover
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This guide is number 21 in the series of Research Guides published by the National Archives.

By the mid-nineteenth century many thousands of Chinese were living in the Australian colonies. Adaptable and hardworking, they and other 'coloureds' were considered interlopers in British Australia.

Exorbitant poll taxes and restrictive immigration legislation had served to significantly reduce the Chinese population by the 1890s. With Federation came the passing of the Immigration Restriction Act and the introduction of the Dictation Test. Under the White Australia Policy, Chinese who had lived in Australia for decades were unable to naturalise, and their lives became increasingly regulated. Photographed and fingerprinted, their travel and residence were open to bureaucratic scrutiny and restriction.

As Chinese–Australian Journeys so amply illustrates, the legacy of these practices and policies is a rich and diverse collection of records held in the National Archives of Australia. This guide is a valuable resource for genealogists, researchers and anyone interested in the history of Chinese in Australia.

Paul Jones is a Melbourne-based researcher whose interests include histories of Australia, China and Japan, and the relationships between them. Paul has worked as an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow (2000–03) and in various research and teaching positions in Australia, China and Europe. He is an honorary Associate of the Department of History at the University of Melbourne

Guides include the material known to be relevant to their subject area but they are not necessarily a complete or definitive guide to all relevant material in the collection.

The National Archives reviews its collection to confirm the value of records for research, evidential and other purposes or to identify, in consultation with agencies, records for destruction. At the time of publication all the records described in this guide were present in the Archives collection. However, it is possible that some of the records may be destroyed if they are reviewed and considered not to be of enduring value. If this occurs, the guide will be revised accordingly.

© Commonwealth of Australia 2005

Every reasonable endeavour has been made to locate and contact copyright holders. Where this has not proved possible, copyright holders are invited to contact the publisher.

ISBN: 1 920807 30 6

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the National Archives of Australia. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be directed to the Publications Manager, National Archives of Australia, PO Box 7425, Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610, Australia.

Editor: Hélène Attrill
Cover design: Po Sung

Front cover image: Kwong Sue Duk family, 1908. National Archives of Australia: A1861, 789

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