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Research Guides


Commonwealth Government Records about South Australia


Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

The federal government's principal research organisation is the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). It began in 1916 as the Advisory Council of Science and Industry, an agency intended to marry the work of science and industry. The council was redesignated as a Commonwealth Institute in 1920, then a Commonwealth Council in 1926, before adopting its present name in 1949.

The CSIRO's authority is derived from the Science and Industry Research Act 1949, which specifies that the organisation's functions include the initiation and carrying out of scientific research and investigation; training of scientific research workers; administering grants for pure scientific research; and publication of scientific and technical reports, periodicals and papers. The Act also specifies that the CSIRO would carry out research in all areas except defence, medicine and atomic energy.

The CSIRO's research is maintained through a network of divisions. In South Australia, these divisions have included soils, plant industry, manufacturing technology, human and animal nutrition, and land and water. For some time the organisation also maintained state committees, including one in South Australia from 1926 to 1986.

As the CSIRO maintains its own archive, the Archives only has a small volume of records from the organisation. These records include correspondence, research notes, photographs and test samples.

Selected series relating to the CSIRO in South Australia
Canberra
Recorded by: CSIRO, Division of Soils, South Australia
CSIRO, Division of Soils, South Australia D4747
Bound volumes of correspondence, 1926–48 A8537
Correspondence files, 1949–70 D5362
Correspondence files, 1962–92 D4863
Canberra
Recorded by: CSIRO, Division of Human Nutrition, South Australia
Thorburn Brailsford Robertson – correspondence and research folders, 1927–30 D5346
Wool samples collected by Hector John Lee, 1930–60 D4875
Charles Martin – correspondence and research folders, 1931–52 D5344
Alexander Thomas Dick – correspondence and research project folders, 1933–76 D5345
Richard M Smith – correspondence files, 1941–97 D5358
Richard M Smith – correspondence and research project folders, cobalt and coast disease in sheep, 1951–71 D5338
Richard M Smith – research project folders, 1957–82 D5353
Richard M Smith – correspondence folders, 1958–81 D5339
Richard M Smith – correspondence, reports, and research project folders, premature infants, 1981–88 D5341
Mary C Dawbarn – laboratory research records of microbiological assays of vitamin B12 and folic acid (cobalt deficiency in sheep), 1957–76 D5337
Divisional project folders, 1966–76 D5350
Sydney, Adelaide
Recorded by: CSIRO, Division of Human Nutrition, South Australia
Hedley Ralph Marston – photographs, negatives, colour slides and movie films, 1930–65 D5352
Adelaide
Recorded by: CSIRO, Division of Human Nutrition, South Australia
Hedley Ralph Marston – correspondence and research project folders, 1928–65 D5351
Sydney
Recorded by: CSIRO, Division of Human Nutrition, South Australia
David Stirling Riceman – plant nutrition annotated photographs, 1935–66 D5347
Adelaide
Recorded by: CSIRO, Division of Human Nutrition, South Australia
David Stirling Riceman – correspondence and research files, 1935–67 D5348
Hector John Lee – research and correspondence folders, 1929–76 D5349
Photographic records maintained by Hector John Lee, 1929–63 D4876
Correspondence records of Hector John Lee, 1943–79 D4874
Photographs of CSIRO scientists, facilities and equipment, 1948– D5364
Canberra
Recorded by: CSIRO, Land Resources Laboratories, South Australia
Ernest G Hallsworth – correspondence and project folders, 1960–78 D5355
Selected items relating to the CSIRO in South Australia
Canberra
Personnel file – Dr David Stirling Riceman, 1935–68 A8520, PH/RIC/002 PART 1
Personnel file – Dr David Stirling Riceman, 1935–68 A8520, PH/RIC/002 PART 2
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – O'Halloran Hill, South Australia – field station, 1946 A461, N398/1/10
Melbourne
Correspondence with Premier of South Australia re myxomatosis – field trial on Wardang Island, 1937 B6192, A31/17
Adelaide
Photographs of CSIRO buildings in South Australia (18 prints), 1928–65 D5352, folder 1
Photographs at Glenthorne Laboratory – barbecue September 1963 – visit by Sir Howard Florey (29 prints), 1930–65 D5352, folder 3

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Chapter 15
Science and research