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Research Guides


Collections in Perth: A Guide to Commonwealth Government Records


6. Culture and the Arts

Image 2: Trademark representations and registration numbers.

Image 2: Trademark representations and registration numbers.
NAA: K16, Volume 1
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Records in the Perth Office on cultural activities relate primarily to Commonwealth control of the registration of patents, designs and copyright in the early years after Federation. Most later records on cultural matters, particularly those dating from the 1960s onwards when the Commonwealth Government became more involved in the arts, are located in the Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra offices of the National Archives.

The Agencies

Design and copyright regulation came under Commonwealth control with the passage of the Design Act 1906. The Patent, Trade Marks and Designs Office was the agency responsible for these functions at the time. They are now handled by IP Australia.

The records show that several other Commonwealth agencies had some involvement with cultural matters, usually when such activities encroached on their primary areas of responsibility. For example, the Collector of Customs dealt with the importation of artwork, the Australian Security Intelligence Organization and various police agencies investigated the use of art for subversive purposes, and the Postmaster-General's Department was involved in censorship matters. Locating records on cultural matters often requires lateral thinking.

Below is a list of Agencies that have dealt with cultural matters and whose records are in the Perth Office:

  • 1885–86: Colonial Secretary's Office, WA (CA 1256)
  • 1886–1906: Patent Office, WA (CA 1257)
  • 1907: Trade Marks and Designs Sub-Office, WA (CA 903)

The Records

Copyright and design records in Western Australia are found in a number of registers from around the turn of the twentieth century. In many cases the original Western Australian registers are held in the Canberra Office of the National Archives, with duplicates located in the Perth Office.

The following list provides some examples of series held by the Perth Office.

DUPLICATE INDEX TO TRADEMARK BY COMMODITY CLASSIFICATION, 1885–1906
Perth
This series consists of 12 volumes showing trademark representations from the pre-Federation period. These representations illustrate the commercial marketing methods used in the Colony before 1901.
Series: K14
Quantity: 2 metres
Recorded by: 1885–86: Colonial Secretary's Office, WA (CA 1256); 1886–1906: Patent Office, WA (CA 1257)
DUPLICATE REGISTERS OF TRADEMARKS, NUMERICAL SERIES, 1885–1906
Perth
This series consists of five volumes that provide file numbers, receipts of application, trademarks, Gazette certificate issues, class, assignments of proprietorship, date and details of assignment and remarks.
Series: K16
Quantity: 1 metre
Recorded by: 1885–86: Colonial Secretary's Office, WA (CA 1256); 1886–1906: Patent Office, WA (CA 1257)
REGISTER OF DESIGNS, NUMERICAL SERIES, 1891–1906
Perth
This series consists of a leather-bound register titled 'Register of Designs – Volume One'.
Series: K19
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Recorded by: 1891–1906: Patent Office, WA (CA 1257)
REGISTER OF COPYRIGHTS, 1891–1907
Perth
This series contains registers of copyright for books (eg directories, diaries, bookkeeping manuals), maps, fine art, race programs, betting cards, song books and plays. A large number of photographs have been registered (copies not included). Many are in sets and show caves, shipwrecks and other views of WA; some photographs taken by Daisy Bates of Aboriginal people are also included.
Series: K17
Quantity: 1 metre
Recorded by: 1891–1906: Patent Office, WA (CA 1257); 1907: Trade Marks and Designs Sub-Office, WA (CA 903)
GENERAL ADMINISTRATION, METHODS AND PRINCIPLES, ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1899–1956
Perth
Series: PP95/1
Quantity: 13 metres
Recorded by: 1899–1956: Colonial Secretary's Office (from 1926, the Chief Secretary's Office), WA (CA 1256)
Admission to fellowship roll – Academy of Arts – recommends M C A Fraser, 1910 PP95/1, 1910/226
POLICY, PROCEDURE AND GENERAL ADMINISTRATION FILES CRTS (COMMONWEALTH RECONSTRUCTION TRAINING SCHEME), ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1944–57
Perth
Series: PP310/1
Quantity: 3 metres
Recorded by: 1944–57: Deputy Commissioner of Repatriation, WA (CA 880)
Commercial Art Committee (Commonwealth reconstruction training scheme), 1944–57 PP310/1, 2641/1947
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, MULTIPLE NUMBER SERIES, 'G' PREFIX, 1954– (CONTENTS RANGE: 1918– )
Perth
Series: K89
Quantity: 62 metres
Recorded by: 1954–: Deputy Commissioner of Repatriation, WA (CA 880)
National art contest, 1967–87 K89, G38/3/11 volume 1
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 'W' PREFIX, 1964–(CONTENTS RANGE: 1909– )
Perth
Series: K272
Quantity: 44 metres
Recorded by: 1964–: Collector of Customs (CA 808)
Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of Western Australia – appointment of agent, 1949 K272, W1971/2674

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