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Research Guides


A Nation's Imagination: Australia’s Copyright Records, 1854–1968


A Nation's Imagination

Merilyn Minell

Published by the National Archives of Australia


Image a: A Nation’s Imagination: Australia’s Copyright Records, 1854–1968 - Book front cover

A Nation’s Imagination: Australia’s Copyright Records, 1854–1968 - Book front cover
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Special thanks are owed to Dr Margaret Williams, Dr John Golder and Professor Peter Gerdes whose knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, theatre and film is inspirational, and to Richard Summerrell, who introduced the author to this wonderful archival collection.

This guide is number 18 in the series of Research Guides published by the National Archives.

This guide comprehensively describes the collection of copyright records held by the National Archives of Australia. In addition to Commonwealth records, this collection includes colonial records from all pre-Federation Australian administrations, with the exception of Tasmania.

Records in the National Archives copyright collection open a window into Australia's past, through which we can discover how Australians viewed themselves, their nation and 'others'. Whether moving, confronting, comic or serious in intent, these records are an invaluable source of Australia's social history and of the events – in peace or war, in good times or bad – that shaped our national identity.

Merilyn Minnell is an Honours graduate of the University of New South Wales. She has a background in theatre, film and farming.

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 2003

Baby Week (the May Gibbs image that appears on page 6 of this guide) is © 1920–2003 The Northcott Society and The Spastic Centre of New South Wales.

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 0 642 34493 0
ISSN 1442–8245

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. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be directed to the Publications Manager, National Archives, PO Box 7425, Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610, Australia.

Editor: Hélène Attrill
Research assistance: Enid Netting, Denis Connor, Sean Debenham and Russell Pym
Cover design: Po Sung
HTML version: Brian Joyce, Neris Bryden and Russell Pym

Cover: The 'Wishbone' Christmas card, 1905. NAA: D4477, 529. This work, registered by Ernest Gall of Adelaide, illustrates that the creative spirits who contributed to this collection saw boundless – and frequently bizarre – possibilities in the world around them.

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