Unreserved - RBA's latest release of digitised archival records

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. The latest release includes records about the work and influence of Dr HC Coombs along with additional records from the Bank’s Research Department, with much of the new information covering the period from the Bank’s ‘separation’ from the original Commonwealth Bank in 1960 through to the early 1970s. The published series are:  

Coombs Records

Records and collection items relating to Dr HC Coombs, Governor of the Commonwealth and Reserve Bank from 1949 to 1968, which include:

  • Articles, speeches and lectures given by Dr Coombs to various organisations and institutions.
  • Correspondence with Prime Ministers, Treasurers, Treasury, prominent economists and other central bank governors.
  • Minutes of various committees including the Financial & Economic Committee, the Economic Advisory Committee and the Atomic Energy Committee.
  • Photographs of Dr Coombs.
  • A Research Guide on Dr Coombs which provides details on his life and achievements as well as links to the records and photographs that relate to him.

Research Department

The early economic analysis conducted by the central bank over the period from 1918 to 1973. The latest materials released include:

  • General Economic Conditions: Additional papers and documents prepared by economists, both internal and external to the Bank, discussing current economic conditions, the economic outlook and policies.
  • Prices & Statistics: Correspondence, papers, tables and graphs on the development and reporting of statistics on a range of economic variables but particularly prices.
  • Planning & Economic Development: Reports, correspondence and memoranda on topics including the Colombo Plan, the Depression, and the Second World War and recovery.
  • Miscellaneous Correspondence: The monthly review of happenings and developments from the London Office from 1954 to 1973 and Thomas Balogh’s letters, London Reviews and special articles for the Bank.

Accompanying these economic records are additional items from the Bank’s photographic collection, primarily scenes of Bank life in the 1960s.

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