Australian Overseas Information Service photographs – Fact sheet 47

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

*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.

Black and white negatives and prints

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesSingle number with L (Library) prefix1948–1971A1200
SeriesDaily single number without prefixes1971–1996A6180

*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.

Colour transparencies

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesSingle number with K (Colour) prefix1947–1971A1500
SeriesDaily single number with K prefix1971–1996A6135

Colour negatives

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesSingle number with KN (Colour negative) prefix1947–1971A8763
SeriesDaily single number with KN prefix1971–1996A8746

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.

A photographic reproduction service is available. Details of the range of services offered and a price list are included on the Imaging Services Order Form. Copies of the form are also available in National Archives reading rooms. Orders can usually be filled within 30 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:

Topics

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesAsian affairs1953–1996A1501
SeriesSEATO (South East Asia Treaty Organisation)1957A1675
SeriesColombo Plan1958–1959A1768
SeriesColombo Plan1958–1959A1680
SeriesColombo Plan1958–1959A1679
SeriesPrime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies1959A1775
SeriesExternal (Foreign) Affairs1961–1996A6137

Events

Royal visits and visits of dignitaries

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