Protests, activism & dissent in Victoria

Research the history of activism, protests, rallies and campaigners in Victoria using pamphlets, posters, badges, images, articles, interviews and books.

Protest groups

The Library's Manuscripts Collection contains papers (such as correspondence, meeting minutes and agendas) of a number of protest and civil rights groups, including:

Search the Library's catalogue by group name to find more records created or collected by protest groups. Some of these collections include campaign and promotional materials produced by these groups.

Records of protest groups held in many other Australian archives can be found using the Trove search engine. The Reason in revolt - source documents of Australian radicalism website, the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives, the University of Melbourne Archives (incorporating the Victorian Women's Liberation and Lesbian Feminist Archives) may also be useful. If you can't find what you're looking for, remember that the papers may still be held by the group or organisation that produced them.

Unions

The Library's Manuscripts Collection includes a significant collection relating to the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen, the oldest continuous railway union in the world. The importance of these records is recognised by their inclusion in UNESCO's Australian Memory of the World Register.

To find other union records and publications, search the catalogue using union name. Union names change frequently - the Parties to the award website will help you to trace name changes.

Records of unions held in many other Australian archives can be found using the Trove search engine. Records held in union and other private archives can be found using the Australian Trade Union Archives and Australian Historic Records Register websites. The Reason in revolt - source documents of Australian radicalism website may also prove useful when tracking down records.

Individuals

The Library's Manuscripts collection holds the personal papers of campaigners such as:

  • Dr Bertram Wainer (1928-87), abortion reform campaigner
  • B A Santamaria (1915-98), political activist and thinker, a staunch opponent of Communism and feminism, and a major influence on the Democratic Labor Party (DLP)
  • Mary Owen (1921-), Women's Electoral Lobby founder, co-founder and coordinator of the Working Women's Centre
  • Dame Elizabeth Couchman (1876-1982), one of the leaders of the Australian Women's National League

Search the catalogue by name or subject to find other collections.

The Library also holds the personal papers of many Victorian politicians (these papers sit outside the scope of this research guide).

Personal papers held in many other Australian archives can be found using the Trove search engine. The Reason in revolt - source documents of Australian radicalism website may also be useful. The Victorian Women's Liberation and Lesbian Feminist Archives (University of Melbourne Archives) and the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives hold the personal papers of many individuals.

State Library Victoria

LIBRARY CLOSURE  

In line with the stage 3 restrictions announced by the Premier, State Library Victoria closed on Thursday 9 July.

We will advise when there is any update to this situation.

Our Ask A Librarian  reference service is still available to assist with your research inquiries.