Election 2016 material sought by National Library in bid to preserve political history
The National Library of Australia (NLA) is urgently seeking 2016 federal election campaign material from Australian voters.
The institution collects and preserves election ephemera to provide insights for anyone interested in the history of Australia’s democracy.
But the material is often hard to access and the library relies on public donations to achieve their ambitious and politically-impartial target.
“We want to collect something from every candidate and every party and every lobby group across Australia,” the library’s ephemera officer Catherine Aldersey said.
“We worry that if we don’t capture this material at the time it will disappear or be recycled and we won’t be able to go back and fill in any of those gaps in the collection.
“Australians in the future will look back on this with great interest and it will be a very valuable resource, so that we can learn from our past.”
Ms Aldersey has urged Northern Territory, Western Australian and Tasmanian voters in particular to post the library any surviving printed election material, including items like how-to-vote cards, pamphlets, posters, signs, badges and T-shirts.
“If anyone has got any campaign material around from Solomon, Lingiari or over in Western Australia we would love to have it,” she said.
“We are also very keen to capture information from Tasmania.”
Ms Aldersey said she had even had difficulty securing one of the most common campaign images observed on Canberra verges.
“At the top of my wishlist is one of those hard corflute posters of Malcolm Turnbull our Prime Minister,” she said.
“I have been promised one by the Liberal Party locally here in Canberra but they are not returning my calls at the moment because I think they are very busy, and all of the ones I saw on the roadside, they were stolen or defaced pretty quickly.”