Collections by State

Australian Capital Territory

Noel Butlin Archive of Business and Labor

The Noel Butlin Archives Centre has been collecting the archival records of federally registered unions for nearly 40 years. The first Musicians' Union of Australia records were deposited in 1963. Federal and branch records (NSW & SA) are held.

National Library of Australia

The National Library of Australia is the major source of reference, information, documents about Australia. It is Australia's largest library and one of the country's major research libraries. It has extensive collections of print materials (monographs, serials, newspapers, ephemera, music (scores and sheet music), microforms, manuscripts, pictorial materials (paintings drawings, prints, posters and photographs), maps (atlases and sheet maps), oral history tapes, projected media (films and video recordings).of books, journals, newspapers, microforms, manuscripts, maps, music, pictorial materials, films and videos and other materials. The priority is in: collecting, locating, organising and preserving Australian materials, particularly in non-printed formats; improving nationwide individual access to Australian materials using new technologies and with appropriate service support.

Australian War Memorial (Research Centre)
The Memorial's National Collection reflects Australia's contribution of forces to armed conflicts all over world: the South African War, the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in China, the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, Indonesian Confrontation, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and to peacekeeping operations. The collection also commemorates Australia's colonial commitments to the wars in New Zealand and the Sudan

Australian Archives

The Australian Archives is invested with the responsibility for acquiring the records of the Commonwealth Government. The Australian Archives has regional offices in all state capitals.The archives will contain all records generated when government intersects with the arts. Of direct relevance to music research are copyright records. All successful applications for copyright are kept, including an example of the work. It thus contains music manuscripts, sheet music, lyrics. These may or may not be published. Records relating to copyright application of major music publishers such as Allan's are also kept there. The records of funding bodes which bestow grants to artistic bodies are held, eg the Commonwealth Literary Fund. Researchers working on artistic companies eg history of The Australian Ballet, Australian Opera, may find valuable material. Records of parliament such as Hansard can be important to researchers since it covers any matter that goes before parliament. Patents - inventions of musical instruments, music related technology, computer programs, Beale piano, gramophones. The shelf life of material varies depending on the material, whether it is private or government or Parliamentary. General policy is to destroy material when its administrative use ceases unless it is of heritage value. There are complex guidelines for determining its heritage value. Name identified census material is destroyed once the information has been put into the system. Parliamentary proceedings in relation to arts policy.The Archives Act of 1983 provides a statutory right of public access to Commonwealth records that are over thirty years old. This is the open access period.Because of the fragile, irreplaceable, and/or sensitive nature of archival material, access is usually carefully controlled. Usually documents can be viewed only under supervision, and researches may have to be interviewed and passes issued. There are screening processes to monitor release of sensitive material. In Australia there is a principle that Government records are equally accessible to all with no distinctions made as to purpose of research, educational qualification, age, sex, nationality. This is recent policy, previously government bodies tended to favour established scholars. The closed access period has been shortened from 50 to 30 years. For records less than thirty years special access may be granted on application. The Archives Act provides grounds for exemption of information about a person if the information is unsuitable for public disclosure. Some examples are medical, social security records, untried allegations of criminal offences. Also exempted are materials of sensitivity to government or nation

New South Wales

Royal Australian Historical Society

The collection holds published books on music from 1922, press clippings on theatres, composers, singers etc.; a few music manuscripts and photographs of Madame Soldene, operatic artist; portrait of Vincent Wallace; photograph of Paderewski, music composer;

Charles Sturt University Regional Archives

Charles Sturt University (CSU) Regional Archives is technically a 'combined' collecting and inhouse archives. As a regional repository for the Archives Authority of NSW, CSU Regional Archives collects and houses semi-active and inactive records created and deposited by local and/or regional offices of State Government agencies and departments in the Riverina and Murray Regions (Regions 5 & 6). Agencies which are well represented in our State Archives holdings include local Court Houses, local Land Board Offices, Warden's Courts and Offices, schools and the Department of Agriculture. CSU Regional Archives also collects non-government records created within the Riverina, including records from local and regional businesses, professionals, community organisations, shire councils, agricultural and pastoral organisations, politicians and individuals. Most importantly, CSU Regional Archives fulfils an 'inhouse' function to the University, providing advice on orderly and accountable record keeping and holding and managing semi-active and time-expired University records from various sections, Divisions, Faculties and Schools. The University holdings also comprise of central records and record series from the University's precursor institutions

Scone & Upper Hunter Historical Society

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Document Archives (ABC)

ABC Document Archives holds records in paper format (including photographs) covering all aspects of the ABC's activities including television and radio broadcasting and the State symphony orchestras (under ABC auspices for most of their history). These relate to a wide variety of musical genres. Provisions of the (Commonwealth) Archives Act, 1983 apply including a closed period of 30 years to many types of records. Many ABC records are held by the National Archives of Australia (esp. Sydney office) and are available to researchers through the NAA's searchroom

Rockdale City Library

We collect monographs, scores and CDs for use by the public. Monographs and sheet music which have popular appeal are our main focus. We have lots of vocal scores for operas and musicals as well as a fair collection of popular song albums. A feature of the catalogue is the song index. All songs are indexed whether they are published individually or as part of a larger volume

Camden Historical Society

The museum holds a number of wax cylinders - contents unknown; some 78 records of a commercial type (popular); a piano said to be early 19th c. in need of restoration; a small church organ late 19th c.

Good Samaritan Archives

The material in the Good Samaritan Archives refers mainly to the work of the Good Samaritan Sisters

Music Library, Faculty of Music, University of Newcastle.

Intended for undergraduate music student studyand postgraduate and faculty research materials

Australian Museum

Ethnographic collections from Aboriginal Australia, Pacific Islands and Asia, Africa and America: includes musical instruments

State Records (NSW)

The Records of the Colonial and State Governments of NSW

Sydney Conservatorium of Music Library.

The Sydney Conservatorium Collection reflects the courses,performance and research needs of staff and students. It ranges from early music to current avant-gard and also includes jazz and popular music. The collection includes scores (including multi-copy),CDs, vinyl recordings, books ,orchestral sets and journals.The Conservatorium aims to collect a representative collection of Australian performers and composers, particularly if they had anything to do will the Conservatorium or the Sydney music scene

Grenfell Historical Society Inc.

The collection contains gramophones, some 78 rpm records, instruments such as organs, pianos, zithers, concertinas, accordions, and sheet music going back to 1866.

Molong Historical Society Inc.

Collection has 50 wax cylinder recordings and 60 78 rpm records

Northern Territory

Strehlow Research Centre

The Strehlow Collection is largely composed of material pertaining to Aboriginal men's sacred ceremonies. At present this material is not collated and not readily accessible. The sound material has been copied for access (in the future) onto audiocassette and the film onto VHS cassettes. All material associated with Aboriginal men's business has restricted access: men only. Application must be made to the Strehlow Centre Board.


Queensland Museum

Contains books, journals, pamphlets, posters, maps, theatre programmes, photographs, slides, film, audiotapes, Aboriginal arts. Cultural Heritage sections: Australian Anthropology, Oceanic Anthropology, Social History, Asian and Cross-cultrual studies all have musical instruments. Books and archaelogical items available for loan. Catalogue: card.

University of Queensland Anthropology Museum

The Anthropology Museum, University of Queensland, houses a significant collection numbering around 25,000 items. It celebrates the culture, arts and crafts of the indigenous people of Oceania, concentrating on Australia, Torres Strait, New Guinea and island Melanesia. It includes ethnographic objects and artefacts, photographs, and archaeological remains such as stone tools. The holdings cover many aspects of daily life including hunting and gathering, recreation, body adornment, trade and ceremony. Comparative holdings from places such as Africa and Southeast Asia complement this extensive collection. The Museum's collection database can be accessed on the web at:

State Library John Oxley Library Archives and Manuscripts Collection
Archive and manuscripts collection of the State Library.Seeks to gather unpublished material documenting the history of Queensland. Catalogued mainly via Guides in the Reading Room. Ephemera collection is uncatalogued

St John's Cathedral

Strong choral tradition. Conductor Robert Boughen has written unpublished thesis on history of the church, A study of the music at St John's Cathedral, Brisbane, from 1843 - 1887. Library of choral material incl. Percy Brier MS and works by George Samson

Townsville Museum Inc.

Biographical notes and newspaper clippings on Charlotte Cameron; newspaper clippings on Palm Island Band; folder of newspaper clippings on musical activities in the area

North Queensland Opera and Theatre Group Inc. and the Company Singers

The Queensland Opera and Music Theatre Group Inc. emerged from a group founded in Townsville in 1981 by Bill Munro to help foster local talent and to encourage young performers by staging musical theatre. Tape recordings of performances, music related emphemera, some scores and sheet music

Community Arts Network of Queensland

Publishes a Community Arts Network Directory of Queensland musicians and musical organisations. Library holdings only relating to community arts projects such as reports on community arts projects, Network News, magazines from other community organisations.

The Cairns and North Queensland Historical Society

Library contains boxes of records '45's and '78's'; boxes of sheet music uncatalogued; wax cylinders, tapes and photographs catalogued; posters, programmes catalogued; newspaper clippings; booklets, tickets, some unpublished articles

Gladys Moncrieff Library of the Performing Arts

Devoted to collecting performing arts archival material. Operates as a reference library providing information services to support QPAT staff and assist visiting managements with their productions. Also invaluable material for researchers. Library dedicated in name to Gladys Moncrieff OBE, born Bundaberg, 1892.

Architecture/Music Library, The University of Queensland

Extensive holdings of reference materials,books, journals, printed music, sound and video recordings, multimedia material and electronic database access to support the teaching, research and performance programmes of the School of Music

South Australia

Archives and Research Centre of the Lutheran Church of Australia

The Lutheran Archives is the official repository of historical material relating to the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA).Types of records available are: official histories of the Lutheran Churches in Australia; Church departmental records; Church convention reports; Church almanacs and yearbooks; Church periodicals; congregation histories & records; parish registers; parish papers; biographical records of pastors & Lutheran teachers; family history books; mission magazines; some shipping lists (SA 1837 - 1870); special collections, Bibles, hymn books, catechisms, sermon books, devotion books, theology; photographs (churches, schools, missions, pastors, teachers; artefacts.

Golden Dragon Museum

The Golden Dragon Museum has a small collection of recordings of Chinese traditional music, Chinese musical instruments and Chinese opera costumes


Geelong Historical Records Centre

The collection consists of scores from the Geelong Musical society, manuscripts on the Geelong Musical Society and the Geelong Association of Music and Art, emphemera (programme notes, tickets, posters etc), and band photos

State Library of Victoria

The collection includes books, journals and other publications covering art, music and the performing arts as well as audio visual material. It caters for students, researchers, the general public and appreciators of the arts. The Arts library holds a large range of reference material in these specialised subject areas including dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes and directories as well as significant historical material. The collection covers all aspects of the performing arts including dance, film and theatre. A special feature is the W. G. Alma Conjuring Collection.

History and Natural History Group

Many items relating to performances by the people of Donald including brass bands, school festivals and the Donald Music, Literature and Art Society concerts. Also a newspaper index which begins at 1882 through to 1930 (at present) and which is continually being updated

Western Australia

Koorda and Districts Museum and Historical society

Collection has old gramophones, phonographs, pedal organ and some 78 recordings.

University Of Western Australia Archives

Mostly administrative records of the Australian Music Examinations Board, the Music Advisory Board and the School of Music. Includes Minutes and Agendas, general correspondence, prizes, scholarships, conferences, statistics, etc. Also some ephemera and photos

Edith Cowan University Archives

ECU archives makes availble the historically and contemporary records and papers of the University and its predessors.ECU archives contain over 2000 sh. m. of records dating back to 1902. The collection contains records of student bodies, guild material, alumni material, financial & HR records, personal papers, memorabilia, materials of clubs and societies, former teaching material and much more

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