Friends of the Noel Butlin Archives Centre

An independent body called the Friends of the Noel Butlin Archives Centre Inc. was established in October 1997. Its members actively support the continuity and functional integrity of the Centre. The Friends are fortunate to count individuals from all Australian States and Territories and from overseas countries as members.

The Friends objectives are:

  • to help preserve and extend the Noel Butlin Archives Centre at The Australian National University in such ways as the Association may determine;
  • to foster among members of the Association and other interested parties a sense of involvement with, and understanding of, the collections, objectives and operations of the Noel Butlin Archives Centre; and
  • to publicise the resources and facilities of the Noel Butlin Archives Centre to stimulate greater awareness within the community of the role of the Noel Butlin Archives Centre.

The Friends is a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)

Conservation fund

The Friends have started a conservation fund to repair and stabilise some of the fragile items in the collection that are of high research value. Donations over $2.00 are tax deductible.


Members receive a newsletter twice a year with news of the Archives and Friends activities, including the Annual Lecture by an eminent or emerging historian, or other passionate user of the Archives.

Light from the Tunnel

The Friends of the Noel Butlin Archives Centre have published Light from the Tunnel: Collecting the archives of Australian business and labour at The Australian National University 1953 - 2003. Barry Howarth and Ewan Maidment (eds). 2004. Canberra: $25 per copy ($20 for members) plus $3 postage in Australia.

Published for the 50th anniversary of the start of the collection by the famous economic historian of Australia, Noel Butlin. Twenty authors recount the origins and forging of this great national collection. There are stories of working in the Gardener's Cottage,the H.C. Coombs Building and the Tunnel repository (over Parkes Way) where the collection is now stored. Today archivists and researchers have their own elegant quarters in the Menzies Library Building, but it wasn't always so good.There are stories too of people who have used the archives for their different researches, and of the many struggles to keep the Archives going.

Joining the Friends

To join the Friends or renew your membership please complete this form. Annual membership fees are $20.00 for individuals, $15.00 for pensioners, and $50.00 for institutions.


  • Professor Joy Damousi AM, FASSA, FAHA
  • The Honourable John Faulkner
  • The Honourable Ros Kelly AO
  • Professor Simon Ville FASSA

2023 Committee

  • Professor Bruce Scates (Chair)
  • Joshua Black (Deputy Chair)
  • Ewan Maidment (Secretary),
  • Maggie Shapley (Treasurer)
  • Emma Cupitt 
  • Debra Leigo
  • Colleen McEwen
  • Carol McNally (Public Officer)
  • Anne Piggott
  • Pierre van der Eng
  • Kathryn Dan (ex officio)


ANU Archives
2 McDonald Rd
Acton, ACT 2601


Reference documents


  •  Friends of the Noel Butlin Archives Centre