Noel Butlin Archives Centre

Guides to specific subjects*.


Guide to archives about Australia in the Second World War, 1939 - 1945

Guide to archives about Australian opposition to apartheid in South Africa

Guide to archives about Australian–Indonesian relations, 1945–1949

Guide to archives about Indigenous Australians

Guide to archives about family history sources in the University Archives

Guide to archives about gold mining in Australia

Guide to archives about weather and climate change


*The Archives' subject guides are being converted to a new format. Earlier guides are available below as pdf documents. These are gradually being updated and converted to online subject guides as above


War in South Vietnam

The Australian trade union movement’s involvement in anti-Vietnam war campaigns is documented in the records of many unions and organisations.

First World War

Australian companies contributed to the war effort through manufacturing and shipping for troops and supplies. Many maintained Rolls of Honour to commemorate staff who served in the armed forces. After the war pastoral companies were involved in soldier settlement schemes for providing farms to veterans.

Records of CSR Limited relating to employees

CSR Limited was founded in 1855 by Edward Knox as the Colonial Sugar Refining Company and adopted its present name in 1973. From sugar refining, milling and distillery operation, the company has diversified into mining, building materials, chemicals and other interests.

Communist and socialist publications

Family history sources in the Noel Butlin Archives Centre

An archives of business and labour records may not be an obvious source of information for family history. The records we hold are not primary resources in the same way as birth, death and marriage records – but they can assist in filling in details of your ancestor’s life, whether a Newcastle coal miner, a NSW hotel licensee, a waterside worker or a chemist employed in a Queensland sugar mill.

Intercolonial Trade Union congresses

The Intercolonial Trades Union Congresses were a means for Australian labour organisations to collectively organise themselves and to discuss issues of concern to all unions in all states. The first Congress met in Sydney in 1879. The Congress report states that ‘it was established that the labour organisations of Australasia were practically unanimous in holding certain opinions in social politics’. Political reform remained high on the agenda of subsequent Congresses.

Peace movement

Just as the wars in which Australia has fought have had irrevocable impacts on Australian society, so too have the peace and social movements associated with them and with Australia’s foreign policy. The Archives holds a significant number of records relating to these movements. Records deposited by trade unions, as well as the personal papers of activists, academics and others, include a significant amount of documentary material relating to the peace movement. Most of the Australian Peace Congresses held from the 1940s to the 1960s are documented in the records of the trade unions which sent delegates to the Congresses.

Spanish Civil War

We hold a number of collections which include original material of Australians who volunteered to serve in the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. There are also files and publications relating to protests against the war.