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Document studies

Investigating Australian history through primary sources

A great resource for classroom teachers, this site provides 55 stimulus documents grouped into ten broad themes relating to history and politics. This resource is designed to encourage student learning and support the teaching of history through primary sources. The resources include photographs, correspondence, speeches, advertisements, films, objects and oral history excerpts from the collections of the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library (JCPML). Each resource is accompanied by detailed contextual information to make it easy for teachers to use with their students.

Document studies: John Curtin’s life and character

Suitable for years 10-12. This resource features:

  • the ABC Radio National Hindsight documentary¬†Prime Minister John Curtin, produced by Bill Bunbury in 2000 – background information for the document studies is based on a summary of the documentary and the final study involves listening to the program online.
  • 10 self contained document studies which illuminate Curtin’s life and character – each can stand alone or the set can be worked through in sequence.
  • a variety of fascinating documents including personal and political letters, parliamentary speeches, a radio broadcast, newspaper articles, oral histories, Caucus minutes and a radio documentary.

Banning of the Communist Party in World War Two Australia: Media censorship in wartime

Suitable for years 10-12. Based on the resource A Prime Minister and his People which presents a selection of about 500 letters documenting the relationship between Prime Minister John Curtin and the general public during the years 1941-1945. Each document interpretation offers:

  • brief background notes,
  • focus questions for consideration/discussion,
  • 2 documents for study with a self checking online quiz for each, and
  • suggestions for follow up research.

ERA Treasure Hunt

Suitable for years 8 to 12. Based on the JCPML Electronic Research Archive (ERA) which contains many fascinating ‘treasures’ amongst the personal papers, photographs, oral histories, copies of official records and other archival material relating to the life and times of John Curtin. This activity offers:

  • a fun way to introduce students to the world of primary documents, and
  • four ‘treasure’ hunts, each with interpretative questions and online answers.