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This book could not have been brought to completion without the assistance of many people and institutions, and we wish to convey our gratitude to them all.

Professor Marilyn Lake, Patron of the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Program, wrote the thoughtful – and thought-provoking – preface, and launched the book at the National Library of Australia.

Members of the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Committee and its Assessment Sub-Committee – Margaret Anderson, Adrian Cunningham, Ray Edmondson, Jennifer Jerome, Sigrid McCausland and Maggie Shapley – contributed introductions to the book’s thematic sections. AIATSIS Principal Russell Taylor provided the introduction to the Indigenous thematic section.

We thank Donna Merwick Dening for her kind permission to reprint the speech given by the late Professor Greg Dening at the National Library of Australia in December 2001 at the first inscription ceremony for the Australian Register. We also thank Jennifer Coombes for permission to reproduce a portion of an article on the James Gleeson Oral History Collection first published in Museums Australia Magazine.

The following institutions, agencies and individuals have supplied the wonderful images that contribute so much to this book: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS); Australian War Memorial; Berndt Museum of Anthropology, University of Western Australia; Fairfax Media; Sabine Friedrich; History SA; Land and Property Information, NSW; Deborah Milsom; Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum); Museum Victoria; National Archives of Australia; National Film and Sound Archive; National Library of Australia; Noel Butlin Archives Centre, Australian National University; Northern Territory Library; PARADISEC; Public Record Office Victoria; Queensland State Archives; South Australian Museum; State Library of New South Wales; State Library of Queensland; State Library of South Australia; State Library of Victoria; State Records NSW; State Records Office of Western Australia; Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office; and the University of Adelaide.

Racheal Bruhn, the book’s designer, has produced a lively and attractive design, and has demonstrated enormous patience with the episodic delivery of the book’s thematic sections.

The Australian Register, and this book, would not exist without the commitment and energy of Jan Lyall, the foundation Chair of the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Committee from 2000 to 2013, and its members past and present. The Program has enjoyed the support of all the national collecting institutions in Canberra in terms of providing meeting facilities and other assistance, and we thank them for this. Special thanks go to National Library of Australia’s former and current Directors-General, Jan Fullerton and Anne-Marie Schwirtlich and Assistant Director-General Margy Burn, for provision of meeting rooms, certificate design and printing, hosting the UNESCO Memory of the World Third International Conference in 2008, and for the launch of this book.

We thank the Australian National Commission for UNESCO for providing grant money to the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Program since its inception, some of which has been used to publish this book. The Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities (CAARA) has also provided a generous grant to the Program, and we thank them for their assistance.

Finally, we thank everyone associated with the nominations of the 50 inscriptions now on the Australian Register – we appreciate the time and effort you have taken to raise the profile of documentary heritage, and to ensure its preservation into the future.

Roslyn Russell, Chair, and Anne-Marie Condé, Deputy Chair, UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Committee

Canberra, May 2015