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Fact Sheet Forty Seven

Australian Overseas Information Service photographs

Promoting Australia

The Department of Information was created in 1947 to promote the Australian lifestyle and Australian events overseas, particularly to intending post-war migrants. In 1950 the agency was renamed the Australian News and Information Bureau (ANIB), the title under which it was known until 1973 when it became the Australian Information Service. In 1986 it was renamed Promotion Australia and in 1987 it became the Australian Overseas Information Service (AOIS). In 1994 the AOIS was renamed the International Public Affairs Branch, a branch in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The photographic collection of the AOIS

AOIS photographers travelled to all parts of Australia to take photographs of everyday Australian life. They include subjects such as people, places, events, festivals, fauna, flora, health, agriculture and industry. The majority of these photographs are now held by our office in Canberra.

Subject index to the collection

The AOIS produced a consolidated subject index which covers most of the photographs dating between 1947 and 1996. A copy of this index is available in the Canberra reading room. Use the table below to identify the series to which individual photographs listed in the index belong.

Other indexes include subject and name indexes (held in series A1201) to the black and white photographs (A1200 and A6180) and subject and name indexes (A6140) to the colour photographs (A1500 and A6135).

Identifying the series to which photographs listed in the index belong

Description of number format

Date

Example of number format

Series no.

Black and white negatives and prints

Single number with L (Library) prefix

1948–1971

L1234

A1200

Daily single number without prefixes

1971–1996

12/3/77/8*

A6180

Colour transparencies

Single number with K (Colour) prefix

1947–1971

K1234

A1500

Daily single number with K prefix

1971–1996

K12/3/77/8*

A6135

Colour negatives

Single number with KN (Colour negative) prefix

1947–1971

KN1234

A8763

Daily single number with KN prefix

1971–1996

KN12/3/77/8*

A8746

*In the 'daily single number' series, the first three numbers represent the date (day, month, year), followed by a single consecutive control number. For example, 12/3/77/8 would be the eighth photograph registered on 12 March 1977.

Access to the photographs

Prints or transparencies of some photographs selected from the subject index may be viewed in the Canberra reading room. The collection may also be searched, digitised images viewed online, and orders placed for copies on our PhotoSearch database.

In addition, a photograph reproduction service is available. Details of the service and a price list are available in the reading room. Orders can usually be filled within 15–20 working days.

Other AOIS photographic series

The AOIS and its predecessors created other series of photographs to cover specific topics or events. Some examples of these are listed below:

Event or topic covered by photographs

Date

Series no.

Topics

Asian affairs

1953–1996

A1501

SEATO (South East Asia Treaty Organisation)

1957

A1675

Colombo Plan

1958–1959

A1768, A1680 & A1679

Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies

1959

A1775

External (Foreign) Affairs

1961–1996

A6137

Events

Melbourne Olympic Games

1956

A7135 & A2751

Antarctic Treaty

1961

A1681

Commonwealth Games, Perth

1962

A1774

World Power Conference, Melbourne

1964

A1682

Governor General's tour of Papua and New Guinea

1966

A2401 & A2402

Royal visits and visits of dignitaries

HM Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh

1954
1963

A1686, A1773 & A2756
A1777

The Vietnam President and Parliamentary delegation

1957

A1670 & A1672

Japanese Prime Minister

1957–1963

A1671, A1673 & A2754

United Kingdom Prime Minister

1958

A1674

HM The Queen Mother

1958

A1766

Canadian Prime Minister

1958

A1677

Malaysian Prime Minister

1959

A1776

Princess Alexandra

1959

A2752 & A1765

Indonesian Foreign Minister

1959

A1678

General Nasution, Indonesian Defence Minister

1961

A1761, A1762, A1763, A1764

Thai Royal tour

1962

A2753 & A1769

Princess Marina

1963

A1772 & A2757

Duke and Duchess of Gloucester

1965

A1767 & A2755

HM The Queen Mother and Prince Charles

1966

A2405

 

For more information

You can obtain more information about the record series listed above (and the items within the series) from RecordSearch, the Archives database. Follow the links in the series lists to go directly to information on that series. You can also use RecordSearch to find out about the agencies that created the records and to locate more records on your subject. You might also explore PhotoSearch to find out if there are photos pertaining to your subject.

RecordSearch and PhotoSearch are available online or in all Archives reading rooms. Reference staff are available in the reading rooms to help you, or email ref@naa.gov.au.

Return to list of Fact Sheets

Comments or other feedback can be sent to archives@naa.gov.au

updated September 2000



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