Update on rebuilding the JB Chifley Library collection - August 2023

21 Aug 2023

February 2023 marked the fifth anniversary of the 2018 Chifley Library Flood. The program for replacement of the monograph, reference, and serial collections is almost complete.

In the first semester of 2023 an enormous number of resources have been made available through the ANU Library catalogue as a result of collection rebuilding. In addition to physical materials, the Library has replaced many resources in online format, enabling far greater discoverability and accessibility than was possible previously.

Collections have not only been replaced, but dramatically improved.

The listings below give brief descriptions of some of the more significant items recently added to the ANU Library’s collection:


  • 3,360 print books
  • 901 e-books selected from within the De Gruyter Book Archive (indexed, full-text searchable and DRM-free) - key subject areas include: Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Islamic Studies and Jewish Studies
  • 101 single e-books discoverable via the Torrossa Digital Library - with perpetual online access for an unlimited number of simultaneous users
  • 43 PDF replacement copies of PhD dissertations discoverable via the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global platform in an unlimited user access model

Audio visual materials

Socialism on Film: the Cold War and International Propaganda

Socialism on Film is an impressive collection of documentaries, newsreels and features sourced from the archives of the British Film Institute that reveals the world as seen by Soviet, Chinese, Vietnamese, East European, British and Latin American filmmakers. It ranges from the early twentieth century to the 1980s and examines the themes of War & Revolution, News & Current Affairs, and Culture & Society.

Victorians on Film: Entertainment, Innovation and Everyday Life

Showcasing the British Film Institute’s Victorian Film Collection and the Mitchell and Kenyon Collection, this resource provides a glimpse into the lives of the late Victorians and Edwardians captured between 1895 and 1913 by some of Britain’s earliest film pioneers and innovators.

Archives and primary source collections

Archives Unbound: “Through the Camera Lens” Moving Picture World and the Silent Cinema Era, 1907-1927

The Moving Picture World was the first trade paper of the film industry. It reviewed current releases and published news, features, and interviews relating to all aspects of the industry. The collections include news items, the best reviews and feature articles, including advertisements published each week.

Archives Unbound: Decolonization: Politics and Independence in the Former Colonial and Commonwealth Territories

This archive presents political ephemera and organisational material produced in over 70 countries and territories around the world throughout the twentieth century. The collection helps researchers explore decolonisation as a historical process, specifically the changing or adapting of systems from an imposed imperial or colonial structure after 1945 and up to the present day. It also sheds light on the politics and processes of national political developments that followed decolonisation and through which the former colonies negotiated their own agency and their own futures.

Archives Unbound: Diary of the Operations Division, War Depart General Staff, 1942-46

The War Department's Operations Division (OPD), created in March 1942, provided the strategic and logistical planning for all theatres of operation. This official division diary, never before published, comprises summaries of information received from commanding generals and sent by the OPD daily between 29 March 1942 and 31 May 1946.

Archives Unbound: Federal Response to Radicalism in the 1960s

A collection of the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation)’s previously classified files on some of the most prominent American radicals and radical organisations from 1956 to 1971 and their movements to change American government and society. The files include material such as newspaper clippings, meeting transcripts, internal bureau memoranda, and reports of special agents, which frequently refer to information provided by confidential informants. Subjects of the investigations include Abbie Hoffman, Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, Students for a Democratic Society and the Weatherman Underground Organization, the Fire Bombing and Shooting at Kent State University, the Black Panther Party, the Brown Berets, and a number of white supremacist groups. A significant portion of this collection documents COINTELPRO, the bureau's extensive "counterintelligence" program against dissent in the 1960s.

BBC Monitoring: Summary of World Broadcasts Digital Archive (1939-2001) – Series 1-4

This historical archive features nearly 70,000 individual multi-page reports – brought together from Readex in partnership with the BBC. Content includes previously inaccessible transcripts of original global radio and television broadcasts, translated into English and summarised by highly trained subject-matter experts at BBC Monitoring. The archive includes real-time coverage of critical world events from the start of World War II to the early 21st century (1939-2001); insight into local populations and local authorities as described by local media; and open-source intelligence transcripts that offer unprecedented academic research value.

Business, Economic and Labour History

A range of important sources from Britain and America, covering key subjects within this historical field, including Keynesian economic policy in post-war Britain, international labour movements, the London stock exchange and papers of important economists.

Early Modern England: Society, Culture and Everyday Life, 1500-1700

This collection brings together documents and objects from seven different archives and libraries to offer insights into the lived experience in England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The documentary evidence offers a range of perspectives from prominent families to 'ordinary' people in order to see how this pivotal epoch in English history was lived across societies and regions. These experiences are revealed through a wide range of materials including legal records, family correspondence, administrative records, wills, inventories and commonplace books among others.

Literary Manuscripts from the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library

This resource offers an opportunity to explore the manuscripts, notebooks, letters and diaries of the nineteenth century’s greatest authors, including Matthew Arnold, The Brontës, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Wilkie Collins, Joseph Conrad, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, George Gissing, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Ruskin, Alfred Tennyson and William Makepeace Thackeray. Researchers and students can trace the close interconnection of these Victorian authors – and subsequently their texts –  through the mass of personal correspondence between them, revealing the close circles in which the Victorian literary world moved.

Literary Print Culture: The Stationer's Company Archive

The Stationers’ Company Archive is regarded as one of the most important resources for understanding the workings of the early book trade, the printing and publishing community, the establishment of legal requirements for copyright provisions and the history of bookbinding. It contains extremely rare documents dating from 1554 to the 21st century.

Medical Services and Warfare (module I & II)

A collection of digitised primary sources documenting medical history during times of armed conflict dating from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century. This database focuses on the Crimean War, the American Civil War, the First World War, and the Second World War among other conflicts. The impact on medicine during peacetime is also charted, notably through documents relating to the influenza epidemic of 1918 and post-war rehabilitation.

Nineteenth Century Collections Online: Photography: The World Through the Lens

This archive assembles collections of photographs, photograph albums, photographically-illustrated books and texts on the early history of photography from libraries and archives from across the globe. Key areas of research covered include exploration and travel; Empire, colonisation and life in colonised regions; topography and archaeology; daily life in nineteenth century in countries across the globe; people and portraiture; science, medicine, and criminology; photography as reproduction of art works; key events and wars.

Women and Social Movements: Development and the Global South, 1919-2019

This digital collection looks at women’s global economic participation and activism over an entire century. It sets out to reveal and assess a realm of individual efforts, organisational initiatives and socio-cultural projects led by or for women in the Global South. Within this framework, the project contextualises gender, opportunity, and struggle. It includes previously undigitised primary sources, hard-to-find materials, curated selection of government documents, and contextual essays.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports

This database hosts FBIS Daily Reports issued by the U.S. Government from 1941 – 1996. It contains translations of broadcasts, news agency transmissions, newspapers, periodicals, and government statements from nations around the world.

Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) Reports, 1957-1995

From the height of the Cold War to the dawn of the Internet and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, JPRS reports document the changes on the ground during that tumultuous time. JPRS—acting as a unit within the Central Intelligence Agency—was established in March 1957 as part of the United States Department of Commerce’s Office of Technical Services, about six months before the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1. JPRS staffers prepared translations for use by U.S. government officials, various agencies, and the research and industrial communities.


The Lord John Russell papers lost in the flood are now digitised and available through the Library catalogue and ANU Open Research repository. This project was done in collaboration with The National Archives in Kew, the official archive and publisher for the UK Government. The papers provide insight on convicts and transportation, colonial appointments, and British interests in the Pacific. They detail many decisions relating to the policies and governance of Australian colonies. A valuable resource for those researching British and colonial history, and hold particular importance for those interested in Australia’s colonial history, as Russell was central to many significant decisions including the decommissioning of New South Wales as a penal colony.

The digitisation of the ABS Historical Microfiche collection lost in the flood is expected to be completed in October 2023. The collection comprises demographic publications released by the ABS between 1901 and 1993 in microform format, including Commonwealth microfiche: 1901 to 1990 (cumulated set), 1991 to 1993 (annual sets); and each state and territory microfiche: 1984 to 1989 (cumulated set), and 1990 to 1993 (annual sets). This information is not currently available in a digital format.

The digitisation of the parliamentary publications lost in the flood is progressing well.

Requesting flood replacement material

We welcome your suggestions for purchases to replace items that were lost in the flood, or to further improve our collections. If you require any material that was destroyed by the flood and has not yet been replaced, please get in touch. We will prioritise your request, and try to locate an interim copy until a replacement is found.

Visit the ANU Library website to view JB Chifley flood collection rebuilding updates.