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Unreserved - RBA's latest release of digitised archival records

Over the past year, the Reserve Bank has been releasing a large volume of digitised archival records to the public through our digital archive (called Unreserved). These records span nearly 200 years of Australia’s economic, financial and social history. In this latest release, users will find primary source material about government finances, the evolving international architecture of the 20th century and economic analysis for the period from 1918 to 1966. The published subseries are:  

  • Government Finance: Statements of revenue and expenditure and the State’s loan fund accounts (also known as the ‘Niemeyer Statements’ and one of the outcomes of Sir Otto Niemeyer’s visit to Australia in 1930). This sub-series also contains reports, papers and correspondence relating to the Grants Commission, National Works Council, Government Finance Committee, Loan Council as well as general government expenditure.
  • International Section: Records about the activities of and discussions with international organisations, agreements and conferences including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Commonwealth Finance Ministers Conference, International Trade Organisation (ITO) and Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE).
  • General Economic Conditions: Papers and documents prepared by economists, both internal and external to the Bank, discussing current economic conditions (including at the state level), economic trends, the economic outlook and policies. They also include economic assessments for the National Security Resources Board.

A Series Guide can direct users to all economic records (associated with the Bank’s original Research Department) that have been publicly released to date; it also describes those economic records that will be in the next release of Unreserved.

In addition to records about the economy, a large volume of documents and photos have been published about Bank buildings (those of the original Commonwealth Bank of Australia from which we descend) between 1912 and 1959. As well as providing information about the Bank and the financial sector, these records contain insights into the development of the built environment in Australian towns and cities as banking branches became more prominent and widespread. (See Research Guides on Developing a Physical Presence in Major Population Centres and  The Role of the Bank's Branches in Australian Life.)

Feel free to share with your members and colleagues. For more information about Unreserved and insights to the research possibilities, see these Series Guides and Research Guides.


If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me or the archivists directly at archives@rba.gov.au.  

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